Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Toilet Replacement Parts - A Necessary Stop - Now it is Art - This Old Toilet - Phone: 650-483-1139

The breakout star of “Punk: Chaos to Couture,” the new fashion exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, is neither the maverick designer Vivienne Westwood nor modern punks like Gareth Pugh and the sisters of Rodarte, but a toilet. At the show’s entrance, visitors are immediately confronted with a re-creation of a filthy restroom of CBGB, the Bowery club that was one of the birthplaces of punk, as it would have appeared in the mid-1970s — drawing reactions, at least among those who remember the original facilities, ranging from amazement to ire. There are three urinals, two toilets with the seats up, two sinks, a bare light bulb, a brick wall, countless used cigarette butts and a whole lot of graffiti, mostly the names of the bands that performed at the club.Patti Smith once said “all the action happened in the toilets,” according to Andrew Bolton, the curator of the exhibition, and it is a place where history is literally written on the walls.
Not everyone is amused by the Met’s treatment of the toilets as a period room. “CBGB was a dump, but for the Met to reduce its essence to a toilet is obnoxious,” said Richard Hell, a seminal figure in the punk scene. (Mr. Bolton’s response: The toilets, like Marcel Duchamp’s Readymades, “are intended to challenge the limits of good taste.”)
· The most repeated name on the walls is Diodes, a band from Toronto whose first release was a punk cover of “Red Rubber Ball.” Elsewhere you might spot Pure Hell, the first all-black punk band, or names like the Hammers and the Motels, or a few anatomical body parts we’ve all seen scrawled on bathroom stalls.

by Eric Wilson


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