HaeAhn Kwon, No 4G3TTI, sumi-ink and gouache on rice paper, brass gauze, 2018. Courtesy the artist.

Talk: Amy Lam in Conversation with HaeAhn Kwon about Bathrooms

Saturday, October 24, 12pm PDT
Presented on Zoom. Please email sfugallery@sfu.ca for details.

Public opinion permit[s] canines to pee on sidewalks, buildings, garbage bags, fire hydrants, trees, cars, and most anything on the street. People are prohibited from peeing anywhere. Violators are subject to apprehension and prosecution.[1]

Western-style sitting toilets are designed to hide the movement of bodily waste. This need for concealment extends to outdoor space, where public urination and / or defecation are seen as shameful (even when there’s no other choice). Women-identified people are especially susceptible to reproach and must find shields or screens, like a friend holding a coat, or an open car door. In this conversation, artists Amy Lam and HaeAhn Kwon will talk about toilets, the lack thereof, and the relationship between civility and necessity.

Lam created Make-Believe Bathroom and Kwon contributed graffiti to it. Kwon’s 2018 exhibition entitled Get Around to How at Erin Stump Projects featured a sculpture called Pissbox (2017).

This conversation will be preceded by Go Together, which is an opportunity to hang out with the artist and others in the make-believe bathroom.

Moderated by Jenn Jackson, curator of Make-Believe Bathroom.

HaeAhn Kwon
is an installation artist. She was born in South Korea and lives on the land of Tkaronto. Her practice recombines and transforms everyday objects, highlighting a tension between a culture of excess and the resourcefulness born of crises. She often collaborates with Paul Kajander as Haeahn Paul Kwon Kajander. Threading given and family names together, their practice challenges identificatory constructs such as gender, ethnicity and patriarchal lineage. She is represented by Franz Kaka (Toronto) and her works have shown internationally.

Amy Lam 
is an artist and writer. She was born in Hong Kong and lives in Toronto. Lam collaborated with Jon McCurley as the artist duo Life of a Craphead, in conceptual art, performance, media art, and curating. Their work will be presented at the Seoul MediaCity Biennale in 2021. Lam is a founding member of Friends of Chinatown Toronto, a grassroots group working against displacement in Toronto’s downtown Chinatown, and she is also currently working on poetry.

[1] Laura Norén, “Only Dogs Are Free to Pee: New York City Cabbies’ Search for Civility,” in H. Molotch and L. Norén eds., Toilet: Public Restrooms and the Politics of Sharing (New York: New York University Press, 2010)