Shit house

These artists are using Toilet Humour to comment on society
Art | 23 August 2016
Introduction Joey Levenson.

Matt Martin for Toilet Humour

Tonight at East London’s Doomed Gallery, we’re expecting a lot of shit to go down as London curator Antonia Marsh’s new exhibition, Toilet Humour, opens to the public for one night only. Marsh continues to dig out her niche in the contemporary art world by taking on different elements in her artwork, often balancing humour with irreverent social commentary. This latest project comes after her Soft Core Porn exhibition at Art Basel, which naturally included the likes of homemade dildos and dick-pics.

And why the toilet, you may ask? Doomed Gallery describes the forsaken bathroom as “an innately contradictory space where we both defecate and bathe, [it] equally represents the only space in contemporary British and American society to still maintain gender separation rules”. Featuring work from the likes of James Concannon, Jack Ridley, Tim Noble, Kingsley Ifill and Marcel Castenmiller, this exhibition promises to be a must-see – like flies on shit, some might say.

Artist and Hate zine co-founder Scarlett Carlos Clarke grabbed five minutes with Marsh ahead of the exhibition’s opening tonight.


Scarlett Carlos Clarke: Can you talk us through how you came up with the idea to do a show titled Toilet Humour?
Antonia Marsh: Well in my bathroom at home, all the art on the walls is bathroom or loo themed. There’s a Dash Snow poster that says Don’t Shoot The Shit, some chick in the bath painted by Leo Fitzpatrick, a nude by Terence Koh I tore out of a magazine and a Cali Thornhill Dewitt painting called Tough Shit. One morning I thought to myself, Maybe I could do a whole exhibition of loo art… Then I told Kingsley Ifill my idea and he immediately brought round a condom painting so that was that.

SCC: How did you go about choosing the artists involved?
AM: The usual process – I had some idea who might like to make some work for this so I put the feelers out. I think it’s an easy subject to relate to…

James Concannon for Toilet Humour

SCC: What is your favourite piece in the show?
AM: I don’t have favourites, I’m a very diplomatic curator. Plus Scarlett, you and Tim [Noble] refuse to tell me what you’re dumping (awful pun, sorry) into the gallery so how would I ever be able to choose fairly?

SCC: A few of the people involved, myself included, have made new work specifically for this show. I guess there is an element of trust between you and the artist and an air of uncertainty? Are you worried at all about what to expect?
AM: Yeah I’m worried you and Tim are literally storing all your shit and you’re going to destroy my exhibition with it.

SCC: What are you plans / dreams for the future?
AM: Is taking over the world too far-fetched?

‘Toilet Humour’ shows Tuesday 23rd August from 6–9pm at Doomed Gallery, Dalston E8 London

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