Ladies and gentleman. The Toilets of Tbilisi

By | March 3, 2011

DSC_0074Workshop @ Europe House, Tbilisi
Format: Presentation and field trip
Duration: 3 hours
Requirements: any kind of digital photography camera

Public toilets, far from being banal or simply functional, are highly charged spaces, shaped by notions of propriety, hygiene and the binary gender division. Indeed, public toilets are among the very few openly segregated spaces in contemporary Western culture, and the physical differences between “gentlemen” and “ladies” remains central to (and is further naturalized by) their design. As such, they provide a fertile ground for critical work interrogating how conventional assumptions about the body, sexuality, privacy, and technology can be formed in public space and inscribed through design.
(Olga Gershenson, Barbara Penner,  2009)

The workshop explores and reflects on the issues described above by capturing the aesthetics of toilets in Tbilisi. Starting with a short presentation of the topic, the group divide to move out into the city and take as many photographs as possible of toilets that are available for public use, also mapping their location. The workshop ends with a final gathering to collect and look at the results of the field trip.