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It has been over 100 years ago since Marcel Duchamp dared to present a porcelain urinal as a work of art. The piece signed “R.Mutt” and called Fountain, was rejected by the committee for the exhibition of the Society of Independent Artists in 1917. Whether Duchamp intended it as a pun, a publicity stunt, or whether he truly thought of it as a work of art worthy of display in the society’s first annual exhibition, the work is today regarded by art historians as an avant-garde turning point in the evolution of art (the original was lost but there are 17 replicas in existence). In the end, Fountain was photographed and the photo was published in The Blind Man.
It’s hard to imagine the artist was serious about presenting a urinal as a work of art back in 1917 but, these days, taking an ordinary item and turning it into an artistic installation is acceptable as a creative pursuit. Toilet art is turning into a trend. Next time you choose a toilet, keep in mind that you’re not only selecting the best toilet to serve your daily needs. Don’t just look at your toilet as a piece of hardware. Keep in mind you might want to use it as a home or garden art installation at the end of its life.
Recycling is the wave of the future. If you’re feeling creative but don’t know where to start, then why not start with your own toilet art installation? Doing some renovating? Don’t take your old toilet to the tip. You have everything you need to turn your toilet into a work of art. Here are some of our best toilet art tips and ideas.
5 ideas for your toilet art installation at home
1- Turn it upside down, paint it black and white, put it on a base and write a poem on the bottom. Make the poem cryptic or turn it into a treasure hunt where people who read it are forced to look for the next clue.
2- Put your old toilet it in the middle of your garden, get a hammer and take a couple of deep breaths. Close your eyes and shatter the toilet with your hammer. Let the shards scatter in the garden and then plant around the remnants of your work. You could call it the pit of energy…you let your energy direct the toilet to where it needed to go.
3- Use it as a flowerpot. Place it under a tree and grow long grasses in the bowl. Put a placard on the front with a name of your installation – something bright and green, like “the willow bowl” or “prairie way”.
4- Lay out 100 rolls of toilet paper on a base next to your toilet and set the rolls in concrete, record a poem by Shakespeare or Byron in a loop and install some neon lights that change color.
5- Put the toilet bowl on its side. Draw a crooked line down the middle and paint one half in a dull and boring color while the other half in a bright cheery pattern. This toilet installation represents life as it is – sometimes dull but occasionally happy.
Looking for creative inspiration? There’s a world of inspired filmmakers out there. Just head to a film festival catch some of the creative vibes. Here are the top five film festivals around the world.
1- Cannes Film Festival
Cannes Film Festival has been attracting filmmakers since 1946 and is one of the most prestigious film festivals in the world. You will have to be rich or famous to attend the Cannes Film Festival as attendance is by invitation only.
2- Toronto International Film Festival
The Toronto International Film Festival is 400,000 people each year. It certainly pulls in the stars and is a festival that anyone who is anyone will usually attend.
3- The Berlin International Film Festival
Berlin is one of the largest festivals in the world. It attracts people from the film industry from more than 130 countries and has an attendance of over 500,000 people each year. This six-day mega event has a roster of activities, panels, discussions, and workshops. This is where you’ll learn from the world’s best cinematographers.
4- Hong Kong International Film Festival
Hong Kong’s International Film Festival is where you’ll see the best Chinese cinema, but it is also a showcase of world cinema, with films from over 50 countries.
5- Venice Film Festival
The Venice Film Festival is (not surprisingly) the oldest film festival in the world. Established in 1932, the festival is part of the Venice Biennale. This celebration has several events, including the International Art Exhibition, International Festival of Contemporary Music, and International Theatre Festival.
Artists around the world are challenging the accepted ideas of what is art by merging art with everyday life. Confused? After all, what could your oven, fridge, toaster, or vacuum cleaner have to to with artistic inspiration? Here’s a great video that explains a few things:
Looking to create your own artistic stamp on the world? Here are some ideas to make your artistic creation relatable and interesting.
1- Food for thought
Food and art have gone hand in hand for centuries and the best chefs always try to make their food creations look beautiful. However, digital artists are taking that one step further by combining food and art in creative ways. Check out how artist Stephen McMennany combines photos of food with normal objects with optical illusions called “combophotos”.
2- Household items
One trend is to make artworks from household items and why not? These days, technology develops so quickly that everyday items that are part of our daily lives may no longer be the same in 10 or 20 or 30 years.
So, immortalizing the things we use every day seems to make more sense than it used to in the past.
In the future, fridges are likely to turn into a home assistant that makes your shopping list and orders the groceries; the television set has already evolved from being a square box to a flat panel and other implements, the vacuum cleaner is evolving into a robot maid. Check out the category called “vacuum cleaner art” on Pinterest.
So, making an art installation about your toaster or vacuum cleaner is not so silly as it will help preserve the memories of the traditional family home.
3- Immortalizing the toilet
Yes, don’t laugh, it takes a really creative mind to turn a toilet into an art installation. Over the last several years, beautifying public toilets has turned into an art form, with artists vying to put their stamp on these public toilets. Making an installation about the evolution of the toilet makes perfect sense.
After all, food, shelter and going to the toilet are all basic human needs. You’d be surprised at how much interested there is in looking at these. It has been 100 years since Marcel Duchamp created the urinal sculpture, Fountain.
For inspiration, check out the 24k gold fully functioning toilet creation by Maurizio Cattelan at New York’s Guggenheim museum.
Most of us have heard the name Peter Greenaway but may not be aware of the depth and body of work created by the man. Take a moment to find out more and you might be surprised. Some might even say that Peter Greenaway is a creative genius and storyteller, in the footsteps of the great masters Leonardo Da Vinci and Michaelangelo.
The talented Welsh actor and director trained as a painter and began to make films in 1966. His cinema is unique and creative and way before histime. He’s also a talented writer who has writted film scripts, as well as for theatre and opera.
Peter Greenaway is not as well known for his installations, most notably at the Palazzo Fortuny in Venice and the Joan Miro Gallery in Barcelona as well as the Boymans – van Beuningen Museum in Rotterdam. You’ll also see his work in major museums, such as the Louvre in Paris, Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam and Hoffburg in Vienna.
He has collaborated with some of the world’s best composers, including John Cage and Philip Glass. His Tulse Luper Suitcases VJ Show. took him around the world and he has been nominated for Film Festivals in Cannes, Venice and Berlin.
Peter Greenaway’s movie career kicked off with his first feature film, The Draughtsman’s Contract,in 1982. It shot him into the international limelight and set up the foundation for him to go on to produce numerous other creative works such as The cook, the Thief, his Wife & her Lover, The Pillow-book, Nightwatching and Goltzius & The Pelican Company.
His multimedia installations are unique and creative, and involve original paintings of the masters (Rembrandt’s Night Watch, da Vinci’s Last Supper in Milan, and the Veronese Marriage at Cana in Venice).
Feature Films by Peter Greenaway
2017 – Walking to Paris
2015 – Eisenstein in Guanajuato premiered in a competition at a number of film festivals and Peter was awareded Best Director at the International Film Festival of India (IFFI).
2012 – Goltzius and the Pelican Company.
2008 – Rembrandt’s J’Accuse premiered at Rome Film Festival
2007 – Nightwatching premiered at the Utrecht Film Festival and won two Golden Calf awards for Art Direction and Script
2007 – Peopling the Palaces was an Installation Film at Venaria Reale. Italy
Storytelling is a human behavior that has survived through the centuries. From generation to generation, the storytellers of the world have added to the earth’s narrative. Storytelling is not just a record of our history but storytelling defines our present and creates our collective future.
A brief history of storytelling
In the past, storytelling was not merely a form of entertainment but a way human beings recorded history.
There’s no doubt that throughout the centuries, storytelling has had an anthropological significance in human development.
The evolution of storytelling began with oral tradition, ancient manuscripts, mass-printed books, and we are now in the digital media age, where stories are recorded in many different forms.
Before human beings learnt to write, we were already able to draw.
Rock paintings were used for this purpose and around the world, these paintings have survived around the world. Rock art is an amazing way to see what was important to the early humans.
Then writing systems were developed by various cultures around the world and for many years, the art forms of writing grew to become the accepted form of documenting history and communicating thoughts.
The written word was enhanced by other creative forms – acting and music. While in the past, painting, writing, acting, film and music have been considered as separate skills, the growth of mass media is rapidly bringing these together.
Mass media or mass hysteria
The explosive growth of the internet is radically disrupting both the way in which stories are spread around the world as well as the art of storytelling.
Social media continues to make it possible for us to tell our stories in more ways than we ever have in the past. It also is enabling us to seek out audiences around the world.
The gatekeepers are falling and stories that would have only been shared between friends in the past now spread around the world through social networks. The internet is a leveler that allows everyone to broadcast their thoughts to the world. and feelings first hand.
This has led to a bewildering explosion of free stories shared through videos, essays and social posts.
Will technology help or hinder?
Besides the ability to share stories easily on the internet, the continual development of technologies and new types of media is creating a new breed of creative artists.
As we plunge headlong into a technologically advanced world, art and technology are rapidly heading for an intersection.
These days, to produce a creative work requires a multitude of talents. Speaking, writing, acting, drawing and making films are becoming skills that are quickly becoming basic requirements of a storyteller.
In the past, to be a filmmaker required access to expensive equipment and training. In recent years, we have seen the rise of amateur photographers.
We’ve seen a raft of star instagrammers rise in popularity and YouTube has provided the platform for anyone to make videos. You can buy a smartphone that can capture high-quality video and editing software is readily available.
Modern storytellers have so many more options than were available to the ancient cave painters. Compared to 20 years ago, we have an incredible amount of resources available to us.
The important questions are: How will these new technologies change storytelling? Will storytelling continue to be an art form or simply a way to document history? How will these technologies change the way art is presented?