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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Art Stolen From Museum Washroom

Okay... that's a pretty cool headline, isn't it? Makes you want to read on a bit just see what type of drugs old Andrew is on... I mean washroom and museum theft?

Hey... I'm just high on life, even if life isn't too high on Andrew. Man... I gotta get life stoned, or drunk or something... maybe even laid.

Anyhow... it's true. Someone did steal some artwork from a museum washroom.

On Friday night September 30, 2011, at the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art in Kanazawa-shi, Ishikawa-ken, some thief entered a men's room with more on the mind than taking a crap. They wanted to take a piece of artwork!

Sorry... that's the best I can do without using naughty words.

A media installation entitled 'You Renew You' (image above) by Pipilotti Rist - a female Swiss visual artist (as opposed to the blind type of female Swiss artist) - was first noticed missing by a museum curator on Friday, September 30, 2011 after either checking on the exhibit or having to use the facility. Whatever. Japan - It's A Wonderful Rife isn't sure if he washed his hands after doing his business and thus washed away key evidence... or if he (we'll assume it's a he because the theft was in the men's room) neglected to wash his hands... in which case police could have a contaminated crime scene.

The art is an altar with a half-circle acrylic board and crystals and a video showing the conversion of food and drink within the body into blood and tears.

Here's what the museum says about the artwork: 
A bathroom is a place of cleansing that is indispensable to everyone. Pipilotti Rist has viewed the bathroom as a sacred place and installed in it an altar, 30 centimeters to a side, placing on the altar some crystals and an object modeled after the Museum. Onto this object she has projected a video that celebrates the conversion of food and drink within the body into blood, tears, and internal organs, accompanied by words of gratitude for bodily wastes. Bathed in music that blends Rist’s angelic voice with water sounds and the singing of birds, viewers feel as if they had entered a mysterious world instead of a common, everyday bathroom.

Created in 2004, the art is a video and audio installation as an instant temple, with two projectors, two players, two sound systems, two timers, plexiglass, moulded-in crystals and mirror,


The artwork was paired with another installation in the women's bathroom and is apparently valued at ¥15.6 million (~US/Cdn $213,000).

Apparently visitors to the washroom were free to touch it, according to the museum.

This is artwork in a men's and women's washroom. And you can touch it. Ewww.

"This is shocking because we have been trying to create a museum that is open to people like a park," exclaims museum director Akimoto Yuji  (surname first). "We want the piece back as quickly as possible."

No shit, eh.

Crap! I used a naughty word! First time ever in this blog!

Founded in 2004 by the city of Kanazawa, the museum has attracted over 10 million visitors these past seven years.

About the artist, Pipilotti Rist:
Born in Rheintal, Switzerland in 1962, she lives and works in Zurich. Pipilotti Rist creates highly individualistic works, drawing on her command of several expressive fields, including graphic design, photography, video, and animation, and her experience playing in a rock band. Her work features extreme close-ups of parts of the body, often deliberately at angles producing distortion and discomforting the viewer, or else portrayal of radical or comical behavior, which she fuses with Pop-like flowing, color-infused music and video, reminiscent of music videos. Although her works combine grotesqueness and incongruity to jarring effect, Rist views people with a compassionate eye.

Anyhow... anyone with any information on this crime is asked to please wash their hands before contacting police. As well... stop stealing art! I've made light of this, but this is someone's work, and theft like this is not cool. We'll assume the thief was a male since it occurred in the men's room, and the companion piece in the women's washroom is unscathed. 

Files by Andrew Joseph


  1. LOL. I work in washroom services Nottingham and anyone who can turn toilets into artwork is pretty good in my book.

  2. Rebecca - how did you even find this article? Surely you weren't looking for articles on toilets on your time off? LOL! Thanks for reading (on the toilet?!)