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“Under / Over” at Marta
September 10, 2020 - November 1, 2020
At Marta gallery, a humble yet familiar subject is featured in their new exhibition “Under / Over”: toilet paper. Fondly nicknamed “The T.P. Holder Show” for this exhibition, the gallery invited 53 artists and designers to create bespoke toilet paper holders. Each design explores a sense of play around the often-overlooked bathroom fixture. Toilet paper rolls dangle from chains and springs, spin on tops, and are contained by wooden cages and elaborately designed geometries. One work by BNAG looks like an oversized tongue that the roll unassumingly sits on.
“The bathroom is a site of social + environmental politics,” the press release declares. A large impetus for the exhibition, which is co-hosted by Plant Paper, a nontoxic bamboo toilet paper brand, is to raise awareness around the toxicity of conventional fluffy, plastic-wrapped toilet paper. “27,000 trees are flushed down the toilet each day,” the gallery explains. This is along with a suite of toxic chemicals like formaldehyde and bleach.
Furthermore, the gallery details that the Koch brand controls 29% of the market in North America, and the company has “funneled millions of dollars into voter suppression, the aiding and growth of the Prison Industrial Complex, and the reversal of common-sense environmental protections.” The exhibition provides a potent reminder ahead of the November election that our everyday actions, no matter how banal, can be agents for political change.