Its a simple act. But one charged with complex emotional meaning. But then everything connected with the body is complicated and related to such issues as anxiety, fear, money, self-esteem and sexuality; much of this is widely disseminated in modern art and popular culture under the guise of scrap, rubbish, refuse and junk as a convenient social substitute for very personal bodily materials. Cheapness sells or it is imposed bringing to bear both the interventionist nature of economics of the private capitalist variety and state intrusion, close to finding a place in the bedroom of the nation…
…In 2000 Yuan Cai and Jian Jun Xi paid homage to their master, Marcel Duchamp. Fountain is now at the Tate Museum in London, and during regular museum hours Yuan and Jian unzipped and proceeded to urinate on Duchamp’s urinal. (The museum’s directors were not pleased, but Duchamp would be proud of his spiritual children.) And there is G. G. Allin, the self-proclaimed performance artist who achieved his fifteen minutes by defecating on stage and flinging his feces into the audience.
So again we have reached a dead end: From Duchamp’s Piss on art at the beginning of the century to Allin’s Shit on you at the end—that is not a significant development over the course of a century….Read More:http://www.atlassociety.org/why_art_became_ugly
Lucy Pickering:This group use the rejection of flush toilets as part of a corporeal critique of the connection to the state embodied in sewers and clean water pipes leading into that most personal of spaces, the home. Some, although by no means all, also utilise the by-product of this rejection – composted faeces – to nurture the plants that they grow, which could be grown for either their nutritional or psychotropic properties. Through this we can then see a further linking into and expression of a widespread rejection of not only state intrusion into everyday life but also modern ‘foodways’: what was normal for most of the people with whom I worked was to grow up in urban centres, to purchase food, already scrubbed clean, selected for lack of blemishes, deblooded and packaged, from supermarkets and other stores. As radical libertarians, they would likely reject a Marxist interpretation, but such an approach might allow us to see alienation embodied in these commodities and from there a practice of replacing the alienation with intimacy through domestic cultivation and localised, cash-free exchange….
…In another setting, one would not expect all these values to be bound up in the use of composting faeces. Comparative work on the use of composting toilets would likely highlight the importance of locating defecatory practice within the nexus of wider social values and practical amenities. Wider ideas about the clean and the dirty, pollution and the human body coupled with technology, modernity and the state will necessarily inform the reception, use and meaning imputed to composting toilets and appropriate uses of that compost. The use of composting toilets by this group in Hawai‘i is born both of a lack of access to sewage pipes and a choice to relocate somewhere without state-facilitated sewers. It can be read, as I have read it, as part of a critique of the intrusion of the state because I worked with a group of people who frequently expressed a rejection of the state through word and deed. Read More:http://theoryculturesociety.blogspot.com/2011/02/interview-with-lucy-pickering-on.html