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THE END OF THE WORLD HAS ALREADY HAPPENED: ROBERT GOBER

ROBERT GOBER’S INSTALLATION AT THE DIA Center for the Arts seems almost civic-minded. We are in a large, brightly lit room. On the wall are eight sinks, all their faucets wide open; the water runs torrentially, noisily, wastefully. Foam accumulates in one sink, presumably from pollution. Stacked here and there are piles of old newspapers baled for recycling. Four—the ancient number of wholeness—is an important figure for Gober: there are four sinks on each long wall, four handmade boxes of Enforcer Rat Bait (one at every other sink) each containing four bait packs, and four small high windows, with bars. These bars name the space: it is a prison.

More: it is a prison of our own making. Tackily painted on the four walls is the kitsch illusion of a forest, all the more sinister for its bland. popular. utopian look. Illustration becomes illusion, even delusion—a typical Gober strategy.

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