Can a porcelain toilet really be the focal point of an exhibit? All my doubts were flushed away, when I saw Diane Landry’s art collection. She does not simply take a toilet and call it art (coincidentally there is actually an online museum dedicated to toilet art in case you were worried).
Diane Landry, in her own words, seeks to “challenge the emotional memory’s link” to an object and its designated function–morphing, for instance, “a record turntable into a merry-go-round” or “umbrellas into flowers.” Her artwork creates a dissonance within our functional memories of an object. This allows new “emotional links” be fostered as our minds reassess an object’s utilization (Landry). Diane Landry emulates a type of creativity reminiscent of the child within us all.
Not all art can be as inventive as Diane Landry’s. There are still those modern art pieces, like the toilet, deprived of any function and condemned to sit in a museum corner. To hear their story, please enjoy Andrew Miller’s hilarious “My Life Imitating Art,” as seen on LitCouture.
“My Life Imitating Art” by Andrew Miller
By A Toilet Seat
I didn’t ask for this.
It’s not like you wake up one morning and say, ‘Dammit, wouldn’t it be provocative if I hung myself on a white washed wall in some drafty warehouse looking gallery.’
I didn’t ask to be an ‘objecte d’arte.’
This is the fate that was thrust upon me by some hack. Some hack that went to art school, who somehow didn’t get jaded and is now trying to make a career out of it.
When I was young, I just wanted to be amiable, and make it real easy for people to shit on me.
I mean, look at me. If you excuse the context, you’ll realize there is no pretension about me. I’m not even a high-end toilet seat for crying out loud! I just want to be practical. Not gawked at in some makeshift art space with chic lighting and a Spartan sense of presentation.
Of course I see the way you people looking at me. Only one person has taken me seriously in the three weeks I’ve been slowly bleeding from this wall, and he was wearing a tinfoil jumpsuit, so there is not much consolation in his perspective.
I’m with you guys, the mindless masses; I’m just as mindless as anyone. Blue collar guy all the way. Not into bureaucracy, politics or the art world at all. I’d make fun of me too. My tastes are simple.
My dream life? Honestly I could spend the rest of my days affixed to some olive green poly-porcelain throne in an olive linoleumed, fake wood paneled bathroom, in an unrennovated suburban duplex in Schenectady for all I care. And, you can even wrap me up in one of those brown wooly seat covers; I don’t need to be the hero of the lavatory. I’m proud of taking a supporting role.
But what does my life look like now?
I’m forever relegated as a high concept art manifesto for some guy that still thinks it’s original to recontextualize utilitarian household items and is naive enough to call it art.
Ha, laughable man!
Come on buddy, it’s been done before.
The art world is going to chew you up and spit you down its plumbing, which will land you in corporate design, or some meddling half assed career path of America’s choosing. This was your one moment to make a splash; to inflict the sheer will of your personality into the world. And what did you choose as the centerpiece of this grandiose moment?
You started and stopped the conversation by serving up a toilet seat for the world to dote on.
I don’t even want to talk about the price tag to my left.
You’ve made a mockery of my many times over. I was already a universal cheap joke; it’s not like dignity runs deep in these bloodlines.
Pull me off this wall and re-install me somewhere dignified. Hell, I’d even settle for a public bathroom in the subway station at this point. That actually sounds really good right now.
I’m not art.
Andrew Miller is a writer from Portland, Oregon currently living in Tokyo, Japan. He works as a creative for Wieden+Kennedy making advertising campaigns for clients such as Nike and Playstation. He blogs street photos and commentary on Tokyo at oylintokyo.tumblr.com. You can follow @oylmiller on Twitter.
This post was written by Katelyn Rogers.