Public Toilet

by Chris Briffa

The first of five public toilets to be renovated by Chris Briffa Architects, this public convenience has a totally site-specific theme. Situated in Valetta’s Strait Street – the 1950s red-light district – the small space is host to a stage, large mirror and overall boudoir experience, complete with red light, and accompanying art gallery. Artists have a large window area and ante-room to present their work; currently a neon sculpture with the words I Love Tracy Emin by Norbert Attard, is on show. His work is based on the novel V by Thomas Pynchon, and includes words that start with the letter V which are displayed in the window. The words, some of which might seem rather provocative, have been printed onto the five windows on the ground floor of the building. The proximity of the words Vagina and Virgin Mary – as presented in the window – has caused some controversy on the small Roman Catholic island, the artist however, claims this was never his intention.

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