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Friday 21 June 2024

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Friday 21 June 2024

automatic translation

    Investigating society through glass: Bonvicini's viral toilet

    An artistic toilet, which can be visited in Piazza Alighiero Boetti in Rome, until October 20th, from Tuesday to Sunday from 11am to 19pm, is becoming popular on social networks thanks to the magic of glass one-way mirror.

    The art of the toilet

    At the beginning of 2024 we allowed ourselves to be overwhelmed by the poetics of simplicity of perfect days, Wim Wenders' latest film. A true ode to the small gestures of everyday life, focused on the life and work of Hirayama, a cleaner of public toilets in Tokyo. The care placed in every gesture of the protagonist and the futuristic yet orderly appearance of the Japanese services made us dream of similar solutions in Italy too. And we were soon satisfied. 

    In fact, the work has gone viral in recent weeks Don't miss a sec, created by the artist Monica Bonvicini. We are talking about a one-way mirrored glass structure that acts as a public toilet, located near one of the most popular museums in Rome, the MAXXI. Its peculiarity? Once we enter the toilet, we can observe everything that happens outside.

    Properties and potential of the one-way mirror

    The one-way mirror allows you to have a reflective surface on one side and a perfectly transparent one on the other. In other words, it proves to be an ideal solution for protecting the privacy of an environment without compromising its brightness and visibility. To obtain this result it is sufficient to cover a glass with a thin metallic adhesive film, non-concealing. This coating constitutes a reflective screen for daylight, while maintaining internal transparency. 

    A sociological investigation with glass

    The provocation inherent in Bonvicini's installation draws strength precisely from the property just described. The fear (however unfounded) of being observed in such a private moment and the voyeuristic taste of peering, sure of one's own shelter, are linked to the contemporary encroachment between the public and private spheres. Is it still possible to draw a line between these two dimensions in the age of social networks?

    The toilet Art by Bonvicini tries to explore these dynamics that involve space, also playing on the phenomenon of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out): a “form of social anxiety characterized by the desire to continuously stay in contact with the activities that other people do, and by the fear of being excluded from rewarding events, experiences, or social contexts” (Source: wikipedia .it).
    Even these very current issues can be discussed and reasoned about thanks to the surprising and amazing versatility of glass.

    Sources: corriere.it, romatoday.it, reflectiv.com

    You may also be interested in: From the glasspiel to the glassarmonica: when glass becomes music
    Stay up to date on the latest news from the world of glass, follow Vitrum on Instagram!

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