A site specific art installation for a public bathroom which celebrates our digestive systems and encourages self-care. This project also explored public bathrooms as an alternative art space, and creating an opportunity for yourself outside the already existing structure of the art world.
To find it out I did a survey to collect responses from viewers. 66 people responded to the survey online via QR code posted on the wall, or by filling out the survey sheet left inside the bathroom. From its result I say the answer to this question is YES!
The biggest inspiration I got from the feedback is a public bathroom being a space of safety and privacy within public. It is a great space to discuss something very personal, and to build a one-on-one relationship with a viewer.
- Love it! When I was growing up, the bathroom was the only place in our uptight family where you were guaranteed privacy, so the bathroom is still a favorite safe space for quiet contemplation.
Excerpts of feedback:
- The bathroom is a lovely private place to see art and one doesn’t get that privacy at museums or galleries especially. Good for introverts!
The bathroom project developed into a workshop at Art Omi (Ghent, NY) created in partnership with Tobacco Free Action of Columbia and Greene Counties in 2022.
If These Walls Could Talk: Activating Bathrooms as Art Spaces
with Mayuko Fujino and Bryan Zimmerman
How can public art begin to normalize conversations around basic human emotions such as anxiety, anger, loneliness, and insecurity? How can art provide a safe space for others in your community to think and learn about mental health issues? In this week-long workshop, students created a collaborative, site-specific artwork in the Art Omi: Education Pavilions bathrooms that incorporates stencil techniques and other methods of producing large-scale public art. The workshop engaged in notions of health equity, predatory marketing to youth, addiction, mental health, science, anatomy, youth advocacy, and other related topics.