Date of Submission

Spring 2013

Academic Program

Art History

Project Advisor 1

Noah Chasin

Abstract/Artist's Statement

Using public restrooms as the basis for delving into this paradoxical relationship between public spheres and private space, I propose to examine how the public toilet confronts the dilemma of providing a private space conducive to the intimate needs of its users while still remaining public. The first exploration of this inquiry is public restroom as a space defying the widely accepted dichotomy between private and public space. Emerging out of this transgressive “event” is the tension resulting from the creation of privacy by users versus the other people simultaneously in the restroom in conjunction with the restriction of privacy by design. This forms the consequent direction of research. Specific examples from Manhattan, a city understood by people of diverse social backgrounds, illustrate the theoretical analysis. My exploration lays the foundation for further research into the ramifications resulting from the inability to resolve the spatial tension.

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