by Trevor Natan
APRIL 13 - May 10
Public bathrooms oscillate between utopian and dystopian, depending on the design and cleanliness. They can generate fear and disgust, but can also be a comforting break from the outside world. They can even be an area for socializing, separated from whatever the main attraction is outside the bathroom walls. What tweaks would it take to turn a mediocre bathroom into a great one? What about tweaks to our own feelings about bathrooms? Is our need for privacy holding us back from the liberation of our shame? Would it be wonderful to have a group poop in a big field? There is so much fantasy that could be found in a bathroom. RELIEF ROOM presents us with the GROUPBOX system, a new idea for an open floor plan bathroom.
The idea for this installation was sparked when impossibly designed bathrooms began coming to me in dreams. There were locker sized toilet stalls that you had to squeeze into sideways, and bathrooms that were just one giant urinal, floor included. The complex and claustrophobic construction of these dream bathrooms led me to think about a simpler design.
In the installation, an astroturf-covered room mimics the green grass of the outside world, creating an open-floor bathroom design free of private stalls. Alongside the flat area there is a grass covered seat. The walls are lined with paper for participants to answer prompts and share their thoughts and memories associated with bathrooms. The GROUPBOX system is designed to work with a single drain in the ground underneath the bedding, and a bucket or hose connection to spray it down at the end of the day. A poop scoop can add further hygienic support.
Bathroom spaces should be shaped based on what users need from them. In RELIEF ROOM, I am exploring how much we can change our sense of shame, comfort, and community through our design choices.
Gallery & Media
Trevor Nathan is an artist in Brooklyn NY working in lens-based art and 3D design. He was born in Little Silver, New Jersey in 1994. In 2017 he received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Digital Arts at Northeastern University in Boston Massachusetts. During winter 2022 he projected video works out of his apartment windows, and over the summer he began wheat pasting his art on the green boards surrounding construction sites. He is currently taking part in the International Lab for Art Practices at Uncool Artist and working on the future of bathroom design
A network formed by nomadic-independent-displaced artists who work collectively in inventing and promoting poetic experiences based on collaborative creation (for artists and by artists).
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