The Restroom Pavilion at the 2021 Venice Biennale Displays how Restrooms are Political Battlegrounds
“When we enter the restroom, we are never alone. Instead, we are entangled in a network of bodies, infrastructures, ecosystems, cultural norms, and regulations”. Although restrooms are often overlooked facilities that cater to the needs of individuals, they are, however, spaces where gender, religion, race, hygiene, health, and the economy are defined and expressed. For the 17th International Architecture Exhibition at La Biennale di Venezia, Matilde Cassani, Ignacio G. Galán, Iván L. Munuera, and Joel Sanders designed two pavilions that exhibit how restrooms are political architectures, serving as battlegrounds for the world’s disputes.
The Restroom Pavilion, designed by Matilde Cassani, Ignacio G. Galán, and Iván L. Munuera, is on display at the Giardini della Biennale. The pavilion is exhibits restrooms as dependent environments, similar to the city of Venice, relying on their distinct geographies and networks. To celebrate these networks, a series of flags are installed in the pavilion in preference to typical bathroom signages. Within the space, typical tiles are replaced with a new materialization, highlighting contemporary hygiene principles in the architecture of restrooms and providing an inclusive description of the realities within which restrooms exist.
Restrooms are spaces of segregation, yet they can also become spaces of freedom. – Pavilion Curators
Meet the Full List of the 60 National Pavilions at the Venice Biennale 2021
Your Restroom is a Battleground, designed by Matilde Cassani, Ignacio G. Galán, Iván L. Munuera, and Joel Sanders, is displayed at the Corderie dell’Arsenale. It presents a selection of seven case studies from all over the world as an installation. The case studies are presented as scenes of a variety of restroom battles, illustrating how these debates take place and reflect local and global social concerns.
The case studies presented in ‘Your Restroom is a Battleground’ contextualize the intervention in ‘The Restroom Pavilion’. The two components of the exhibitions relate to one another through medical research. The case studies presented at the Arsenale allow the visitors to understand and locate the restroom within a wider set of polemics around the world in which different communities are testing new forms of coexistence.
The Restroom Pavilion
Your Restroom is a Battleground