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Antonia Marsh’s Toilet Humour
Antonia Marsh

This new London exhibition promises to be a ‘shit show’

Antonia Marsh returns with her fascination for the body’s needs and functions by asking a group of UK and US artists to meet her in the bathroom

It’s not often a curator declares their upcoming exhibition a “shit show”, but most curators aren’t like Antonia Marsh. Her honest approach to art has previously seen her focus on our body’s needs and functions – from eating to sleeping and sex... and now to what happens in the bathroom.

Hosted by the Doomed Gallery, Marsh is paying tribute to our bathroom behaviours with Toilet Humour – using the tagline “Because everything really is just a bit shit”. Examining the “unusual arena” of the bathroom and the endless possibilities of what can happen there, UK and US artists like Rory DCS, Rebecca Storm, Alexandra Marzella, Tom Beard and Scarlett Carlos Clarke, to name a few, will show work across varying disciplines of video, photography, painting, sculpture and installation. Below we caught up with Marsh to find out more.

“I find all these carnal intimacies that we each experience as humans absolutely captivating” – Antonia Marsh

You are continuing your fascination with bodily functions and needs/wants – last time food, also sleeping, and now excrement... why are you so fascinated by these functions?

Antonia Marsh: You forgot sex! I love this question because it makes me feel like you’re noticing a common thread run through my shows, which means a lot. I really don’t know why, but I find all these carnal intimacies that we each experience as humans absolutely captivating. The shows really all aim to trigger memories in their presentation of relatable feelings. Despite our relative idiosyncrasies and eccentricities, we are not alone. We all fight, love, fuck, laugh, cry and often these intense peaks or troughs or emotion happen in the most banal places. Memory is a beautiful thing and I think it’s something worth arousing.

How did you go about curating these artists, what was on your mind when selecting them?

Antonia Marsh: Many of these artists I’ve worked with before. I really just wanted to do a fun little summer show so I got in touch with a few in London, and a few in NYC who I thought might already have or want to make appropriate work. I was going to NYC anyway so I’ve just rammed my suitcase full of work to bring back for it. Magic!

Should they feel flattered or slightly worried to have been chosen for a "shit show”?

Antonia Marsh: I think they’re all more worried that I’ve started curating shit shows.

What's the best thing to do in a bathroom?

Antonia Marsh: I’ve answered this question five different times in my head already, I can’t decide. I’m always convincing people that empty bathtubs are the best places to hang out at house parties if there are at least three of you in there. When I was little I used to love sitting on the loo with the seat down and watching my mum do her makeup in the mirror, now I do it with my best mate Abby. Showering with someone you’re shagging is pretty cute too. In NYC I used to curl up and sleep in my shower in the summer because everywhere else in my apartment was too hot and bright. The other day I had a cup of tea and a smoke in the bath that was delicious, simple as. The list goes on...

“We all fight, love, fuck, laugh, cry and often these intense peaks or troughs or emotion happen in the most banal places” – Antonia Marsh

What's the worst?

Antonia Marsh: Sex in the loo is crap (no pun intended)... I don’t believe the hype. Something about the angles and heights of everything, it just doesn’t work.

What's the best or worst thing you've read on the back of a toilet door?

Antonia Marsh: Our mates in rival bands used to shit talk each other in the dressing room loos of various music venues, I went on tour with one band and you could trace their slurs from one town to the next.

What's next?

Antonia Marsh: I’m slinking off to Japan this weekend, you’ll see.

Full list of artists include Tom Beard, Miyako Bellizzi, Lily Bertrand-Webb, Dan Boulton, Scarlett Carlos Clarke, Marcel Castenmiller, Claire Christerson, James Concannon, Rory DCS, Cali Thornhill Dewitt, Kate Falcone, Kingsley Ifill, Indigo Lewin, Matt Martin, Alexandra Marzella, Tim Noble, Jack Ridley III, Zack Robinson, Lisa Signorini, Joe Skilton, Rebecca Storm, Joe Sweeney, Madeleine von Froomer

Toilet Humour is on at London’s Doomed Gallery from 6pm Tuesday 23 August 2016. For more information, click here