At the border of public and private space, restroom stalls act as havens for the addict, hence the title Sanctuaire. It’s a place where the drunk can vomit, where the pothead can roll a joint, where one can snort or shoot drugs.
Because of their hidden nature, public restrooms are also spaces of self-expression and communication via stall graffiti (aka latrinalia). While reading on the topic, I learned that latrinalia differs greatly between genders, and I wanted to illustrate this in my image. The right side depicts stereotypical male latrinalia: insults, vulgar sexual references, swearing, hostile or violent imagery. The left side depicts stereotypical female latrinalia: expression of vulnerability, support, references to relationships, love, and emotions. On the open door, I wrote a call for help typical of an addict’s desperation, along with a message of support that encourages to break the isolation that afflicts addicts.
By overlaying images of different, but similar, restrooms, I wanted to point out both how different places can be perceived as one and the same by someone who frequents public restrooms to abuse substances, and how altered mental states can affect how one sees.
6 layer screenprint Paper size approx. 18" x 28" Printed on Arnheim 1618 paper