How many of you are bathroom enthusiasts? OK, not many… Well, maybe Jonathan Jones, today’s guest, can get you more excited about them? Enter Jonathan:
Going to the bathroom is usually an unremarkable experience. When we think back over the events of a day, we rarely count our bathroom trips as events worth remembering, but there are weird and wonderful bathrooms in the world that demand the attention of patrons, making a memorable trip of what would normally be a banal bathroom visit.
In the city of Basel in Switzerland, there is a public bathroom that appears to be covered in mirrors on the outside; however anyone inside the bathroom can see out clearly as if the walls were made of glass. Artist Monica Bonvicini’s designed the bathroom, which she entitled ‘Don’t Miss A Sec’. The work explores our fear of missing out when we go to the bathroom. Those brave enough to use this strange bathroom can see everything that’s going on in the world outside but anyone who finds it difficult to pee in front of other people might want to go elsewhere!
Chongqing in China is house to the world’s largest bathroom, with a grand total of 1000 toilets. The gargantuan restroom has an Egyptian theme and is made of recycled materials. Many of the urinals are unusually shaped, with some resembling open crocodile mouths and others having the head of a woman. Calming music and televisions are there to put patrons at ease and make their bathroom experience as enjoyable as possible. Officials in Chongqing hope that the quirky bathrooms will draw tourists to their city.
1. Urinal Art
In 1917, Marcel Duchamp shocked art critics and the public alike when he turned a urinal on its side, signed it ‘R. Mutt’, called the piece ‘Fountain’ and claimed that it was art. While not quite a bathroom, this urinal is perhaps the most famous urinal in the world as it called into question the nature of art itself and was a key piece of the Dada movement. Several authorised reproductions are on display in museums around the world, including the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Over the years, several performance artists have attempted to pee in these urinals, including the famous duo of performing artists, Yuan Cai and Jian Jun Xi.
So next time you go to the bathroom, spare a thought for the weird and wonderful bathrooms worldwide that aim to make our trips to the bathroom memorable experiences and be glad of the privacy afforded by your home bathroom – it shouldn’t be taken for granted!
This article was written by Jonathan Jones, an art enthusiast and part-time staff member at a company specialising in bathrooms Dublin.