‘America’, an art installation by Maurizio Cattelan, is intended to be a scathing indictment on the 1% mentality of the most powerful country on the planet. It is a rather literal interpretation of the cavalier attitude the nation often has towards its obscene fetishizing of wealth, money, and capitalism. Through audience participation, the piece invites us to consider what the true worth of objects are and if commodification comes at a higher moral price than we would typically expect.
And yes, it is a solid gold toilet you can actually take a dump in.
We wrote before about how Cattelan’s now-infamous toilet had been installed at Blenheim Palance, the birthplace of Winston Churchill, as part of his first British exhibition. Well, it ain’t there anymore because someone stole it. Yes, someone ripped the fully-functioning gold toilet out of Churchill’s home and ran off with it. Honestly, that may be a better commentary on the art-piece than was originally intended. I kind of admire it.
The theft happened sometime on Saturday, causing significant damage and flooding to the area because that’s what happens when you rip a working toilet off the walls. A 66-year-old man was arrested in connection to the theft but the toilet is still missing. It’s likely that it will be melted down by the crooks. Once again, a pretty solid artistic message to send. It’s all very Robin Hood, but with skidmarks. Cattelan had to publicly deny that he’s orchestrated the theft himself as part of some Banksy-style stunt.
Twitter, of course, reacted with empathy to the news.
Someone needs to tell Eric that this will not make daddy love him. https://t.co/38Dk8BJ0an— Molly Jong-Fast (@MollyJongFast) September 14, 2019
Only in Britain could a solid gold toilet be put in Blenheim Palace & then get stolen as soon as it’s open to the public.— Mr Ethical (@nw_nicholas) September 14, 2019
My dad was so excited by the gold toilet theft. He finally got to use his “police have nothing to go on” joke entirely in context. He’s waited most of his life for this opportunity. #goldentoilet— Dawn Finch 📚🏳️🌈 (@dawnafinch) September 15, 2019
I want to live in a world where the noun “toilet” is never modified by the adjectives “solid gold.” pic.twitter.com/0yIrtrh1e7— One Hot Mess AK (@libbybakalar) September 15, 2019
Be on the lookout for anyone walking around with a gold toilet https://t.co/lNmKRla8m3— Andrew McGlashan (@andymcg_cricket) September 14, 2019
Whatever the case and wherever it is, I hope someone is sh*tting in style tonight.
Header Image Source: Getty Images