Elizabeth Diller

American, born Poland (Lodz, Poland, 1954)

Ricardo Scofidio

American (New York City, New York, 1935)

Soft Sell

1993
single channel video | single channel video with sound, 8:27 min.
Not on view at this time; find out where you can see works from our collection at locations around the Bay Area while our building is closed for expansion
  • Soft Sell

    Elizabeth Diller, Ricardo Scofidio, Soft Sell, 1993; single channel video with sound, 8:27 min., dimensions variable; Collection SFMOMA, Accessions Committee Fund: gift of Patricia and Raoul Kennedy, Lisa and John Miller, Christine and Michael Murray, Helen Hilton Raiser, and Danielle and Brooks Walker, Jr.; © Diller + Scofidio


In the original installation of Soft Sell, a large pair of scarlet female lips was temporarily projected onto the glass doors of the Rialto, an abandoned porn theater on New York's Forty-second Street. A sensuous female voice emanated from the speak-hole of the ticket booth, soliciting passersby with dubious offers of bodies, real estate, and a wide range of consumerist pleasures. Each pitch began with her saying, "Hey, you, wanna buy a..."

Presented during the "Disneyfication" of Times Square in the 1990s — a period when activities shifted from drug dealing and prostitution to family-oriented theater and entertainment — Soft Sell suggests that the commodification of sexual desire wa merely being replaced with a new set of seductions designed to appeal to our consumerist fantasies.


Dimensions variable
Acquired 2003
Collection SFMOMA
Accessions Committee Fund: gift of Patricia and Raoul Kennedy, Lisa and John Miller, Christine and Michael Murray, Helen Hilton Raiser, and Danielle and Brooks Walker, Jr.
© Diller + Scofidio
2003.11

Tags

faces, lips, lipstick, women, noses, performance, propositions


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