Washroom. A Space for Art.

The Place

Located on Hohlstrasse Zurich Altstetten are the workshops of the main SBB Maintenance Depot. In the next few years, this inner-city industrial area will be transformed into an urban space for small businesses, as well as a hub for culture and art. The former welfare house, featuring a large basement space with showers and bathrooms, remains part of the historical site to this day. Before the building is renovated and given a new purpose, we plan to take this final opportunity to temporarily return the washroom to its former charm, through artistic interpretation. In March 2023 the exhibition titled Leaving Behind – Letting Go. Sensuousness in a Tiled Washroom will take place, featuring a variety of visual art interventions in the space, including installation, performance, photography, and other media.

The Space

Traces of time in a forgotten place, reminding one of tradition and ritual. A time to wash oneself, to be rid of the accumulated dirt, to feel the hot water on the skin, to relax. After work, dirty and tired, this was a place for relaxation and cleanliness. Steam rose, together with damp and heat. The space was filled with noise, smells, and constant activity. A place for stimulating the senses.

And what of today? The tiled washroom evokes emotions and prompts our imagination. One asks oneself, ‘How did the washroom used to operate? Why do we sometimes have to part with beloved things? Or what is this need to let go of old habits and ways of life?’ We will attempt to breathe new life into this forgotten place by finding answers to these questions and expressing our reactions and thoughts as well as testing our ideas and our discoveries.