1st Toilets Pavilion of the Art Biennale di Venezia

review by Jizaino, 19 September 2011

1st Toilets Pavilion
Symbiotic event of the 54th Art Biennale di Venezia
04 June - 27 November 2011
Arsenale of Venezia, Italy
opening times: 10.00 - 18.00
closed on monday

Permanent link: http://tinyurl.com/paviliont

Read also the complete review of: 54th Art Biennale di Venezia


Not for provocation or in derision.

Jizaino presents the 1st edition of the Toilets Pavilion of the 54th International Art Exhibition of the Biennale di Venezia.

Modern and contemporary Art made us accustomed to consider by now Art all the range of human expression, in a view of tolerance, exchange and mind opening, searching even in the most simple things the meaning of the world that surrounds us and the signs of the world that will be.
The Low-Brow, the Expressionism, the Abstractism, the Asemic Writing, the Outsider Art and artists like Dubuffet, Hartung, Cy Twombly, Baumeister and Basquiat made us accustomed to images in which the expressive medium is not the technique, but the content.

Cy Twombly, "Bolsena", 1969
Oil, coloured chalk and pencil on canvas, 200 x 240 cm

Insofar i believe that, waiting for a warholian future where everybody will have 15 minutes of fame, it should be the case to start to aim a light (in homage to the topic ILLUMInations proposed by the 54th Biennale) over one of the most genuine methods with which contemporary urban humans express and communicate what, outside the protection of the privacy, is considered improper: the writings in the WCs.
In this sense the Toilets pavilion represents the latest frontier of the vulgarisation, of the public expression and of the identification of new taboos.

Contemporary Art includes also forms of self-referential expressionism, intimist crypticism, formal minimalism, aesthetic nihilism and all those manifestations of human expression that somebody, in a superficial way, consider abominations.

Indeed, even facing the work of Art with humble curiosity, one must convene that some expressive forms proposed by contemporary art galleries are superposable to what can be found on the walls of the WCs.

The inauguration of the Toilets Pavilion of the Biennale have not the intent to depreciate those forms of Art, but to shed some light on the people's expression that, at least as much as the first ones, have the merit of being one of the most true and democratic expressions, since not mediated by self-censorship nor by compromises with oneself or the market.

As this is a site dedicated to Art, obviously the toilets of an Art exhibition have been choosen.
The Toilets Pavilion reckons nobody as promoters and supporters, it does not need public money, it does not need wardens; but, the time to bring it to the public attention has come.
We will see if this experiment will be worth.

The Toilets Pavilion of the Art Biennale di Venezia is exceedingly the most democratic and free: no director, no curator, no selection, no references, no censorship and above all it is anonymous, if desired. Everybody can express in total freedom.

Moreover, the Toilets Pavilion is a dynamic reality that evolves with no control: what is present in this page is just a still picture of its transformation in the state it was at the date of the review, a moment in its ephemeral cycle timed by the periodic removal of the writings or by the contaminations made by others.
Whoever would send updated photographic material about the pavilion, can do it being confident for the privacy; or also using an artistic signature.


Obviously this review takes under consideration the most significant artworks, skipping personal messages and political or soccer interferences; and is also limited to the visit of a single bathroom: this is an experimental initiative and you can count on a more complete review for the next editions.

Generally, the artworks are well arranged, with few obliterating invasions; the mose used format is the one that takes only one of the proper spaces defined by the tiles, although there are also bigger drawings and creative site-specific reinterpretations.

As predictable, Expressionism and Conceptual Art rules this first edition. We meet a voice of protest against Video Art (of someone who perhaps have seen the pavilion of the Istituto Italo-Latino Americano), and another one even against Vittorio Sgarbi.

The artwork here called "13 Dreizen" seems to be an extemporaneous citation to the artwork "Triskaidekaphobia" by Rosemarie Trockel, exhibited at the Arsenale.

The artists that are present in this room are mainly English speakers, although there are many Italian participations, with a moderate presence of Japanese and Chinese people.

One of the few dated artworks, the one that gives evidences about the participation of the Istituto d'Arte Deruta, gives doubts about the existence of a restoration service for the exhibition rooms, since it dates from the last Biennale.

The global look of the hall, seeing the almost general monochromatism from black felt-tip pen, it would make to suppose a collaborative agreement on the technical choices of the artists. Let us hope that the next edition is many coloured.


Also this pavilion lacks in-depth material, but some artworks for telematic self-promotion.

Photographic gallery

Jizaino -