Andrea Zittel, A-Z Escape
, 1996.

Bumper Sticker for A-Z
Escape Vehicles
the artnet hit list
by John Mendelsohn

andrea zittel
at andrea rosen gallery

Nov. 1 - Dec. 7, 1996

The "A-Z Escape Vehicle" is a line of mini mobile homes designed by Andrea Zittel. Each just big enough for a single occupant, these metal shells come ready for customizing. Four individualized versions (by the artist and three collaborators), and an empty prototype are on display. Looking inside the popped hatch of an altered module, we become voyeurs of someone else's 100 cubic feet of fantasy escape. They range from the artist's own ersatz grotto with colored lights and waterfall, to Andrea Rosen's baby blue velvet tufted coffin/coach complete with bar and sound system, to Robert Schiffler's flotation tank, to Dean Valentine's witty homage to Joseph Cornell. These works answer the yearnings of the `90s nesting impulse, one isolated psyche at a time. And they constitute Zittel's satire on individualism, the open road, and a room of one's own. While her earlier living modules had the appearance of chicly designed behavioral experiments, these models with their `50s profile, are positively cute by comparison, a little like a Faberge egg inside a canned ham. Here a select population gets to participate in its own experiment whose premise seems to be: "Where does shelter end and prison begin?" Plus, as the millennium approaches, who can gainsay the appeal of the notion of an "escape vehicle."