Sites of Contemplation and Relief

Since photography’s introduction in 1839, the photograph has been accepted almost universally by the general public as a proof, a document of what was there, of what had been; in short, a testament to fact.

Amongst the art photography set, the advance of post modernist thinking in the 1970’s saw a wholesale shift in this understanding, a shift since greatly facilitated by the seemingly limitless manipulative capacity of digital reproduction. Photography has finally become painting in that it can now be used to make anything one wants. The boundary between the perceived and recorded and that which is the staged or created has blurred to a point where it has become almost impossible to tell the difference, a state it must be said, fully in keeping with our uncertain age, characterized as it is by skepticism, distrust and the dissipation of cultural cohesion that is the inevitable consequence of these insecurities.

In this regard, the critique implied by the following series is directed less at this kind of work and not at all at those who produce it, but at the larger cultural milieu that it has come to represent: a world in which everything, including concrete, demonstrable actualities is open to question; a world in which real experience is no longer sufficient, in which the imagined – “alternative facts”, if you will – is more to be desired than the real.

Even so, I continue to believe that the photograph remains preeminent in its capacity to wrest interest from even the most banal of subjects. This series of images of toilets then is an admittedly, slightly-tongue-in-cheek acknowledgement of this, referencing as it does, one of the most universally banal of functions, the evacuation of bodily waste; a kind of rearguard action argument for the continued relevance of the “straight” photograph, by which I mean one that echoes the magic and mystery perceived in the medium’s original accomplishment, namely its capacity to record, in precise detail, an absolutely convincing rendition of how something actually experienced appeared over a particular duration.

Acknowledgements: To Charles Marville ( né: Bossu ), the nineteenth century French photographer whose comprehensive record of Haussmann’s Paris “pissoirs” was instrumental in inspiring this body of work,

to Marcel Duchamp – or quite possibly, an anonymous, female collaborator – who, in 1917 and using the pseudonym, R. Mutt, first conceived and insisted upon the possibility that something so ordinary as a urinal could be art and finally …

to Alfred Stieglitz, another photographer and gallerist who, following its initial rejection by the Society of Independent Artists, exhibited that urinal in 291, his gallery on Fifth Avenue in New York, thereby making it OK to display toilets – and all sorts of other things – in galleries.

1. Hotel Le Pigalle, 9 Rue Frochot, Paris, France.
Tuesday, December 26, 2023. 1:18 – 1:28 pm. GMT.

48°52’52.95″N 2°20’14.25″E

2. Muscade, Salle Richelieu, 36 Rue de Montpensier, Paris, France.

Saturday, December 16, 2023. 2:23 – 2:24 pm. CET.

48°51’56.50″N 2°20’14.80″E

3. Reh-Fit Centre, 1390 Taylor Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba,Canada.

Saturday, February 25, 2023. 6:32:12 – 6:32:32 pm. CST.

49°51’01.13″N 97°10’59.54″W

4. larnrod Eireann – Dublin to Cork Express, Straboe, Co. Laois, Ireland.

Sunday, November 13, 2022. 1:51 – 1 :59 pm. GMT.

53°04’04.79″N 7°16’21.96″W

5. Dynacare Laboratory, 2077 Pembina Hwy., Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

Wednesday, October 13, 2021. 11:13 – 11:14 am. CDT.

49°48’57.00″N 97°09’11.34″W

6. Fionn Mac Cool’s, 1180 Grant Ave., Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

Monday, March 30, 2020. 7:32 – 7:33 pm. CST.

49°51’28.94″N 97°10’02.84″W

7. Donna Sarna Physiotherapy, 897 Corydon Ave., Suite102, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

Friday, February 27, 2020. 11:54 – 11:55 am. CDT.

49°52’09.24″N 97°09’32.84″W

8. Balboa Park, San Diego, California, USA.

Saturday, December 28, 2019. 10:14 – 10:16 am. PST.

32°43’47.41″N 117°09’04.34”W

9. White Tank Campground, Twentynine Palms, California, USA.

Saturday, December 24, 2019. 12:16 -12:17 pm. PST.

33°59’02.43″N 116°00’59.56″W

10. Tir Na Nog, Irish Bar & Grill. 201 E. Pratt St, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019. 5:58:09 – 5:58:49 pm. EDT.

39°17’10.67″N 76°36’40.58″W

11. Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019. 6:40 – 6:41 pm. EDT.

39°17’04.43″N 76°37’14.67″W

12. Corner of Cambie Street & 8th. Avenue W., Vancouver, B.C. Canada.

Friday, May 03, 2019. 5:03 – 5:04 pm. PST.

49°15’50.47″N 123°06’54.91″W

13. Douglas Park Community Centre, 801 West 22nd Avenue, Vancouver, B.C., Canada.

Friday, May 03, 2019. 5:52 – 5:55 pm. PDT

49°15’07.09″N 123°07’20.57″W

14. D’Arcy McGee’s Pub, 44 Sparks St., Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Thursday, December 13, 2018. 1:17:21 – 1:17:40 pm. EST.

45°25’24.14″N 75°41’44.79″W

15. Town Hall, Skibbereen, Co. Cork, Ireland.

Saturday, October 13, 2018. 8:06:20 – 8:06:39 GMT.

51°32’57.66″N 9°15’56.98″W

16. Convocation Hall, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018. 8:49 – 8:50 am. EST.

43°39’38.17″N 79°23’43.27″W

17. Casey’s Bar, Main Street, Clontaff, Union Hall, Co. Cork, Ireland.

Sunday, April 29, 2018. 2:01:51 – 2:02:49 pm. GMT.

51°33’29.20″N 9°08’29.73″W

18. Terminal 2A, Aeroport Charles de Gaulle, Avenue Charles de Gaulle, 95700 Roissy-en-
France, France.

Saturday, December 30, 2017. 11:44:18 – 11 :44:26 am. CET.

49°00’09.55″N 2°33’40.53″E

19. Breizh Café, 109 Rue Vieille du Temple, Paris, France.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017. 9:03 – 9:04 pm. CET.

48°51’38.15″N 2°21’42.58″E

20. L’Auberge du Mouton Blanc, 40 Rue d’Auteuil, Paris, France.

Wednesday December 20, 2017. 9:23 – 9:24 pm. CET.

48°50’51.86″N 2°15’57.20″E

21. Abbaye Mont-St.-Michel, Manche, France.

Friday, December 08, 2017. 12:27 – 12:28 pm. CET.

48°38’10.82″N 1°30’40.46″W

22. La Station Rambuteau, 20 Rue Beaubourg, Paris, France.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017. 7:35:31 – 7:35:51 pm. CET.

48°51’39.69″N 2°21’13.04″E

23. Tony’s Academy Auto Service, 432 Academy Rd., Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017. 10:50:14 – 10:51:09 am. CST.

49°52’24.83″N 97°11’09.70″W

24. Brewers Inn, 805 Highway 17 W, Kenora, Ontario, Canada.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017. 3:50 – 4:34 pm. CDT.

49°45’25.83″N 94°33’20.76″W

25. Tool Share Library, 1803 Danforth Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Sunday, July 02, 2017. 1:07:28 – 1:07:51 pm. EDT.

43°41’03.29″N 79°19’07.34″W

26. Piazza de Nardi, 1360 Taylor Ave, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

Friday, June 23, 2017. 11:32:07 – 11:32:54 am. CDT.

49°51’02.80″N 97°10’40.04″W

27. First floor toilet, Cork International Hotel, Cork Airport Business Park, Cork, Ireland.

Sunday, May 14, 2017. 2:11 – 2:24 pm. GMT.

51°51’08.39″N 8°29’13.74″W

28. Sailing School, Heir Island, West Cork, Ireland.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017. 1:37 – 1:39pm. GMT.

51°29’58.34″N 9°26’04.41″W

29. Deja Brew Café, Main St, Clontaff, UnionHall, Co. Cork, Ireland.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017. 4:55 – 4:57 pm. GMT.

51°33’26.88″N 9°08’31.39″W

30. Deluxe Double Room, Cork International Hotel, Lehenagh More, Cork Airport Business
Park, Co. Cork, Ireland.

Saturday, April 16, 2017. 7:55 – 8:06 pm. GMT.

51°51’08.39″N 8°29’13.74″W

31. Costco Wholesale, 2365 McGillivray Blvd., Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

Thursday, January 12, 2017. 2:24 – 2:25 pm. CST.

49°49’10.69″N 97°12’27.98″W

32. Premium Economy – Air Canada Boeing 787-9 at 32000 ft., North Atlantic Ocean.

Tuesday, November 08, 2016. 1:06 – 1:07 pm. UTC3.

48°38’28.95″N 35°28’37.31″W

33. Parking lot, Field’s Supermarket, Skibbereen, West Cork, Ireland.

Friday, October 21 (10:35 – 10:37 am.) & Sunday, October 23, 2016 (1:26 pm.). GMT.

51°32’53.51″N 9°15’58.54″W

34. Portable toilet, Vermillion Park Sportsplex, Dauphin, Manitoba, Canada.

Friday, August 12, 2016. 4:12 – 4:13 pm. CST.

51°09’29.69″N 100°03’26.18″W

35. Bridge House B&B, 46 Bridge St., Skibbereen, West Cork, Ireland.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016. 1:00 – 1:03 pm. GMT.

51°32’58.65″N 9°16’12.79″W

36. Budd’s Restaurant, Balleydehob, West Cork, Ireland.

Friday, May 20, 2016. 8:11 – 8:12 pm. GMT.

51°33’45.55″N 9°27’38.37″W

37. Annie May’s B&B, Bar & Restaurant, Bridge Street, Skibbereen, West Cork, Ireland.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016. 3:05 pm. GMT.

51°32’57.86″N 9°16’07.31″W

38. Cork International Hotel, Cork Airport Business Park, Cork, Ireland.

Monday, May 02, 2016. 1:03 – 1:04 pm. GMT.

51°51’07.99″N 8°29’13.52″W

39. Museum of London, 150 London Wall, London EC2Y 5HN, UK.

Thursday, April 28, 2016. 3:08 – 3:09 pm. GMT.

51°31’03.81″ N 0°05’47.3″W

40. Olivo Ristorante Italiano, 53 Quarry St., Guildford, Surrey, UK.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016. 1:43-1:44 pm. GMT.

51°14’03.20″N 0°34’25.99″W

41. White Horse Public House, 154 Fleet Rd., London NW3 2QX, UK.

Sunday, April 24, 2016. 1:06 -1:08 pm. GMT.

51°33’14.98″N 0°09’52.96″W

42. Tate Modern, Bankside, London SE1 9TG, UK.

Saturday, April 23, 2016. 3:13 – 3:17pm. GMT

51°30’28.16″N 0°05’58.39″W

43. Carrer de Valencia 225, 08007, Barcelona, Spain.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014. 3:32 pm. CEST.

41°23’28.53″N 2°09’39.36″E

44. Church Restaurant, Skibbereen, West Cork, Ireland.

Saturday, April 19, 2014. 1:24 pm. GMT.

51°32’56.50″N 9°16’07.10″W

45. White Cube Gallery, 144 – 152 Bermondsey St., London SE1 5TQ, UK.

Thursday, February 28, 2014. 11:21 am. GMT.

51°29’58.81″N 0°04’55.67″W

46. Holland Park, Loverose Walk, llchester Place, Kensington, London, UK.

Friday, February 21, 2014. 3:07 pm. GMT.

51°30’05.31″N 0°12’12.16″W