Financed by the Ljubljana City Council, Vigred Company and Joze Barsi
Author: Joze Barsi and co-authors: Martina Bastarda, Mateja Ocepek
and Natasa Skusek
Location: Metelkova, Ljubljana
In 1999, I received a grant from the Ljubljana City Council to build
a public toilet in Metelkova. Metelkova is a part of Ljubljana where
military barracks of former Yugoslav army were stationed before the
ten-days war following the secession of Slovenia. Now, the complex
of about six buildings is occupied by people involved with culture.
Metelkova is a place of constant cultural events, such as concerts,
exhibitions and theatre activities, and hosts artists' studios, disabled
people's centre, a centre for gay and lesbian movement, etc. The site
is in derelict state and lacks toilets.
The toilet is a free-standing object, made of sheet iron, wood and
plastic. It includes two chemical toilets divided into two separate
units, with access for disabled people. It has a functional form,
which avoids ambitious architectural or artistic impressions.
The toilet was in public use until summer 2000, when Museum of Modern
Art, Ljubljana, bought it for its collection. The Museum and I signed
a contract, in fact a lease, which obliged the Museum to keep it in
use for another two years. Afterwards, the Museum will become the
sole owner of the toilet and will decide whether to keep it functioning,
or transferring the structure to another location, even to the Museum.
It would then become an art object.
The public toilet in Metelkova is a contribution to new forms and
strategies pursued by contemporary art - one of them is internet art
- that are not bound to institutionalised space.