Fredericton — Going to the movies in Fredericton has become more cultured, with the addition of a new art exhibit to the women’s washroom at the Regent Mall Cineplex location. Titled Out of Order, the modern art installation by an anonymous artist features a detached bathroom stall door leaning against the side wall, exposing the toilet within.
“It’s a spectacular piece reminiscent of Marcel Duchamp’s 1917 Fountain,” says Terry Graff, curator of the Beaverbrook Art Gallery. “The chipped paint, the woefully inadequate ‘out of order’ sign — it really speaks to the visceral ideological challenges faced by modern society, and the lack of privacy we all face.”
Moviegoers, while initially startled by the piece, are starting to warm up to it.
“I used to think they were just really terrible at fixing up their washrooms,” says one woman. “But after seeing it here for like, a month or more, I realized there had to be a bigger purpose behind it. Now that I know it’s public art, I kind of like it. It really lends an interesting atmosphere to the washroom.”
Others are more critical. “I would enjoy it more if it wasn’t such a static piece,” says another woman. “I mean, it would be interesting to have a performance piece with subtle changes from week to week, like a different sign, or an indication that the door has been moved — you know, as if someone attempted to fix it. But I guess art is art.”
The work has been so popular, a companion piece by a different artist has been added in the men’s washroom.
“We feel it’s important to offer a broad cultural experiences for all our patrons,” says Cineplex corporate office, in an email. “We also want to offer new opportunities for artists to express themselves, knowing we will continue to feature their work for long periods of time.”
The art installations are expected to remain on display for the foreseeable future.