Am I living in Urinetown?

Saturday was a perfectly lovely day. I went to yoga. I went to the bookstore where I spent an ungodly amount of money on art magazines. I read – ate lunch – read – took a nap – read and went to the opera.

However, I did find myself steeped in urine. Seriously.

When I was in the 7th grade and I was asked to write a persuasive paper, I chose censorship.  One of the examples included in this paper was Piss Christ by Andres Serrano. This same piece came up in a book I started reading Saturday called  But is it art?. Serrano’s piece is notoriorious because, well, it’s a very large photograph of a crucifix that has the artist’s urine on it. People were slightly offended. As for me? The only way I could be offended is if it smelled bad since I have super smell capacity right now.

Anyway, also during Saturday’s reading frenzy, I stumbled upon an article in Art Lies about/by the architect Berend Strik of One Architecture. One of the projects discussed in the article was his Beer Pavilion (located in Salzburg).  The structure was designed in the “Improved Regional Style” (I don’t think this is anything more than architecty-speak) and seeks to demonstrate the fluidity of the building by having “a prominent roof under which beer and urine flow down a large glass facade.”

In case I wasn’t clear, yes, the design of the building demands that you can see the beer going into the space and the urine flowing out. And people actually think this is a good idea, you ask? I went to the One Architecture site and didn’t see it in the portfolio but it was done in 1995 so it might not be up on their website anymore. I also tried a google search with no results.  Perhaps it was designed but never built? If so, why would you bring it up?

Although I think that the idea of visible piss is fairly antithetical to the idea of cleanliness in a bar (thereby decreasing revenue), there is something truthful and funny about it, right? I mean, don’t you have to go to the bathroom alot when you’re drinking beer? And isn’t it refreshing to hear about architecture with a sense of humor?

And the Piss Christ situation – well, it’s still obviously making waves. Personally,  I wish that Andres Serrano got a fee every time an art historian/theorist dropped his name in an article. He would be famous AND rich. Don’t we have other examples to talk about?

Me, I would say that I have dealt with enough piss this weekend but I’m sure Lolita will need to go outside at any moment. I just hope she doesn’t piss on my carpet since my apartment does not have a doggie-potty exterior drainage/facade system installed.

2 responses to “Am I living in Urinetown?”

  1. At least there were no pee-related stories from the yoga portion of your day. Amirite?

  2. If you’re doing more research… I really, really want to know if that building was ever constructed. Really. That cracked me up! But in the question, “is this seriously art?” I have to admit, I turn to you, my friend. Because if I can’t be convinced that a piece is “art” you can at least explain to me why someone might view it that way.

    Love you!

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