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The photographs from the cycle Lost & found are not aesthetically neutral, they intend to function ‘pleasantly’ and attract the gaze; just like the inscriptions on them, the meaning of which is not truly important. The aesthetic photographs could be anything: an advert for ceramic tiles, interior fittings, it is hard to decipher from them that they are a document of a ‘performative’ statement or merely photographs of urinals in toilets where body hairs were captured.22 The essence of the photograph in the Lost & found project is– apart from attracting the gaze – mainly to pass on the information as to where the body hair was found, with which they can be returned into the brutal existence. With the advance in civilisation the need for organising the surroundings appeared. When this happened certain bodily functions ceased to exist in their primary meaning. If urinating used wish to show this with a personal example. In a pizza place at the foothills of Šmarna gora the toilets are extremely posh. The doors show two stylised shapes carved in metal: a circle and a trapezoid, which is once wider at the bottom, and once at the top. After seeing the first shape I decided that this is not the men›s toilet and continued to the next door. Taking the shape into account my decision opposed all other code – from the fact that the male restrooms are always closer, to the fact that there were no urinals in the other restroom, which I considered to be rather classy. As I was washing my hands a lady walked into the restroom, we looked at each other in surprise, and then she said that this was the woman›s toilet. I wanted to show her the sign on the door, which showed a slightly wider trapezoid at the bottom when I remembered why the trapezoid with a wider edge on the top seemed feminine (a symbol of the female genitalia). 22 Even at the literal or documentary view it is hard to avoid that an entire cycle can border on fetish in numerous ways. There is even a field of urinal fetish, where people collect data on the usability of urinals through history and discuss and publish photographs of various forms, ages and geographical diversity on forums: e.g.

to, in the distant past, include the function of recognising the state of the body and marking the territory, this function disappeared with the development of mankind, it became alien and discomforting.23 Urinating is linked to the body and cannot, while the body is secreting, be established as disgusting. The attitude to one’s own secretion is not the same as that to somebody else’s, for the latter also includes an unknown foreign body.24 The secretion becomes disgusting once it is separated from the body and in a modern toilet it takes a mere moment for it to disappear from the visual field and from the consciousness.25 Regardless of the fact that the photographs of the Lost & found urinals are aesthetical and distanced from the viewer, we cannot ignore the fact that the entire work is scatological. We need to pose the question as to whether a urinal as an object is scatological. The greatest controversy of Duchamp’s Fountain can be found in its level of scatology. The vulgarity

23 At the notion of extimacy the thought notion is firstly attached to something close, which is alienated through the process of suppression and returned as something scary. 24 This is why vulgarity is always ascribed to someone else. In the return of one’s own it would be for instance disgusting if the urinal was blocked and the secretion remained on display. 25 I doubt that secretion in the future will become conscious or will in any other way be recalled into the conscious mind. An important role is played by the individual’s body. If we take a look at an opposite example: environmental awareness is possible only because the body of the individual has been excluded, e.g. separating trash and other visible, but trivial influence of the individual can be applied as an ideology because the body is not present in this process. The body is becoming a burden of the contemporary society, which seeks ways in which it could mask the traces of its physicality and decay. In this context we can expand the statement that the art does not transcend language into art does not transcend the bodily experience – and this is not final, but changes with the development of meanings within societies. 111

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Corpus indeterminata  

Opus Corpus indeterminata by artist Zoran Srdić Janežič