Please wait

James Casebere

Spanish Bath (Vertical)

2003

Not on view

Artist

James Casebere (1953-)

Title

Spanish Bath (Vertical)

Date

2003

Medium

Chromogenic print mounted on plexiglass

Dimensions

Overall: 90 × 91 1/2 × 1 in. (228.6 × 232.4 × 2.5 cm) Sheet: 90 × 71 1/2 in. (228.6 × 181.6 cm)

Edition information

3/5

Credit line

Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Gift of an anonymous donor in honor of Adam Weinberg

Accession number

2005.108

Object Label

Since the 1970s, James Casebere has produced photographs of increasingly complex and painstakingly detailed models of architectural environments, which he builds out of simple materials in his studio. After the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Casebere began working on subjects involving Spain and the Eastern Mediterranean. Several of these works—including the Spanish Bath (Vertical), the first in the series—reference the exchange between Islamic, Jewish, and Christian cultures in the tenth century before the Inquisition, while others depict mosques or sites in Tripoli, Lebanon, Nineveh and Samara in Iraq, and Luxor, Egypt. Spanish Bath (Vertical) reveals a segment of a royal complex: the living quarters of the wives and mistresses of Muslim monarchs. Flooded and depopulated, the image lacks the elements of titillation customarily associated with Western representations of such sites; instead, it emphasizes the space’s austerely elegant architecture. Casebere has explained: “Part of the reason I did the Spanish Bath image was that Andalusia represented a sophisticated moment of translation and contact—a place in time—never recognized as such by the ‘West.’”