Latrinalia Tour (aka Bathroom Graffiti)

deTour curated by: Unimelb, 2015

Many of us have had the experience of sitting on a toilet in a public restaurant or bar and seeing messages scrawled across the walls, but have you ever thought about documenting it? This tour does just that, challenging visitors to think about the potential of toilets in an unconventional way.

At the opposite end from tourist-attracting murals lies latrinalia: bathroom graffiti. Scrawled in the privacy of the toilet, latrinalia is free from aesthetic or monetary concerns. Different types of messages and artwork emerge on bathroom walls, reflecting both their location and audience. Writings may be tags, encouraging, self-expressive, witty, or even political. From gas stations to universities, this tour examines the way these messages provide valuable insight into private thoughts and interactions.

Check out these interesting articles to prepare for the tour:
--http://www.theage.com.au/entertainment/have-chat-rooms-taken-the-pith-20120720-22etp.html
--http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2014/11/behind-the-writing-on-the-stalls/383016/

Locations for deTour

Gas station bathrooms and public restrooms remain one of the few toilets still available to the general public. Café and shop bathrooms may be open to customers, but there is a certain expectation to look clean and to purchase food before asking to…

Enter into a library at the University of Melbourne and a different type of latrinalia appears. Instead of graffiti artists or bored teenagers, students are creating the messages scrawled on the walls. Notes are often more stylized or even artistic,…

University of Melbourne’s central library, Baillieu, certainly receives the most foot traffic. This makes it an ideal place for students to have conversations with each other through their latrinalia. Students also commonly use this library as a…

Whereas Baillieu serves as a central hub for studying, the Union House is a hub for socializing. Filled with food suppliers and chatting students, the atmosphere is more lively than studious. The basement has a bathroom painted hot pink with rows of…

Leaving one university and entering another, RMIT has the potential for more varied latrinalia as its buildings are spread among the central business district. Among the usual emotional and witty messages are the occasional political claim.…
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