#82 Shit

Wc df, a photoseries by Kurt Hollander

I started photographing bathrooms in Mexico City after I got a severe case of salmonella, which in turn led to chronic ulcerative colitis.

Running to bathrooms up to twenty times a day, often with only moments notice, over many years, changed the way I saw Mexico City. Due to my condition, I've probably visited more public bathrooms than anyone else in the city and know better what goes on behind those closed doors.

I've come to see bathrooms as a kind of architectural unconscious, a space normally hidden from view, a place where people do things they would never want anyone else to see. Unlike bathrooms in most European and United States cities, there is no sanitary code that dictates exactly how toilets, urinals and sinks must be constructed (for instance, to keep from clogging the pipes, mexicans throw their used toilet paper into wastebaskets instead of flushing them away).

In mexico city, especially in the poorer areas and in neighborhood markets, public bathrooms are often constructed by people who are neither professional plumbers nor architects, and thus they display the creativity and improvisation that makes Mexico City so special.

This ongoing series of photographs (wc df) can be read as a visual autobiography, a record of my movements around the city (cantinas, restaurants, government buildings, etc), documentation of Mexican architecture and interior design and the flip side of tourist postcards.