Maja Bajevic, HOTEL HOLLYWOOD, 2003, in situ installation.
Exhibition view: Fuori uso — Anomalie, Ferrotel, Pescara, Italy (Curator Teresa Macri), 2003.
The exhibition was organized in an out-of-use hotel. Hotel rooms have been an ideal setting for many films; they have become almost obligatory in Hollywood movies, to the point of becoming a cliché — in this case a cliché I worked with. I created a female and a male room, and installed a neon sign on the façade of the building in between the two rooms. The sign, HOTELHOLLYWOOD, had a mistake in the writing, as is often the case with cheap hotels. On the night table of the women’s room, next to the bed, were an almost empty bottle of wine, a lot of cigarettes butts, a glass with lipstick on it, and half empty containers of antidepressants and sedatives. The sheets on the bed were stained. On the TV, the end of a film played in a loop (the part with the credits) with typically dramatic music. The telephone rang once in a while; when a visitor answered there was a voice asking for Mrs. Bourgeois. The male room had the same basic hotel-like equipment. On the night table there was a Koran, Arabic newspapers and magazines, and a telephone book with Arabic names and addresses from all over the world. On the TV, an American action film about Islamic terrorists played in its entirety, with many explosions.
My only intervention in the film was: I repeated a speech by ‘Bill Clinton’, who at the time was the President of the United States; interestingly enough, although the film takes place before September 11, ’Clinton’ is already speaking about the “axis of evil.” The telephone rings and somebody speaks in Arabic. At one point, during the opening, a police brigade came into the man’s room and began searching the room quite violently. Throughout, the hotel sign would blink and cast shadows in both rooms.
The imagination of our TV generation adds its own filmic experience to the installation. In a way, both the women and the man are clichés, and as such fuori uso — out of use.