Marcel Duchamp changed the art world forever in 1917 when he took a standard porcelain urinal and put it inside a gallery. That artwork is coming to Sydney as part of a major exhibition of his work this winter, but one media company is flipping this idea on its head: they're taking art and putting it inside Sydney's public toilets.
A "digital art exhibition" of photography by Evelina Fietisova called Reframed has just opened on 200 screens in the toot at 20 Sydney train stations – look out for the exhibition at Blacktown, Bondi, Burwood, Central, Chatswood, Edgecliff, Epping, Gordon, Hornsby, Hurtsville, Kogarah, Liverpool, Martin Place, Miranda, Parramatta, Penrith, Redfern, St. Leonards and Strathfield.
The photos challenge gender norms, featuring male, female and transgender models styled androgynously and photographed in high fashion-inspired settings. They're showing on small video screens operated by outdoor advertising company called Smartbox. They're committing to showing the work of an emerging artist each year, and that artist is probably going to reach a larger (if less attentive) audience than they might in a gallery.
The "art exhibition" largely exists to advertise Smartbox's services and the screens upon which they appear (yes, there are instructions as to how you can "advertise here" showing during the exhibition). But we're big fans of art in unusual locations, and these artworks certainly make a visit to a public toilet slightly less terrifying.
And traditional gallery rules don't apply to this exhibition – nobody will stop you touching the art, just make sure you wash your hands first.
Where else can you find art across the city? Check out Sydney's best public art and the best exhibitions inside our galleries this month.