About this work

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: 

Victoria Carruthers:  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.

In her own words...