Tim Lee

Upside-down Water Torture Chamber, Harry Houdini, 1913

2004

Medium
Photograph on paper
Dimensions
1150 x 1250 mm
Collection
Lent by the American Fund for the Tate Gallery, courtesy of the American Acquisitions Committee 2006
On long term loan
Reference
L02686

Display caption

This photograph shows the artist tied to a chair reading a copy of the collected writings of artist Robert Smithson. At first glance, the book appears to be the wrong way up. In fact, Lee is hanging upside down, and the resulting photograph was inverted so that he appears to be sitting up straight. The Upside-down Water Torture Cell was one of Harry Houdini’s signature acts, in which the famous escapologist was suspended upside-down in a locked cabinet filled with water.

Gallery label, December 2006