Hôtel du Pavot, Chambre 202 (Poppy Hotel, Room 202)
Fabric, wool, synthetic fur, cardboard, and Ping-Pong balls
133 7/8 x 122 1/8 x 185 in.
Musée National d'Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris
About the title:
Tanning herself believes the work to be directly related to a song popular in her childhood.
In room two hundred and two
The walls keep talkin' to you
I'll never tell you what they said
So turn out the light and come to bed.
Written in the 1920s, the song laments the fate of Kitty Kane, one-time Chicago gangster's wife, who poisoned herself in room 202 of a local hotel. There are
several verses but these are the words she remembers....
—excerpt from “Between Silence and Sound: John Cage, Karlheinz Stockhausen and the Sculptures of Dorothea Tanning,” Art, History and the Senses: 1830 to the Present, Surrey: Ashgate Publishing, 2010, p. 114.