Flashback: Public Sex Without the Public

Apr 29, 2013 • Art, Lifestyle

Monica Bonvicini's "Don't Miss A Sec" one-way mirror public bathroom

Making the social media rounds once again is Monica Bonvicini’s 2003 art installation, Don’t Miss A Sec, a public toilet created of one-way mirrors that enables the user to continue to watch people on the street while they relieve themselves. The concept behind the piece is driven by the fear of missing out, an idea which, though always relevant, is even more applicable ten years later given our fast-paced, perma-connected existences.

The Italian-born artist came up with the idea at an art opening. “Amid the gossip and pageantry, nobody wanted to leave the room for fear of missing a key entrance or comment. The Don’t Miss A Sec exhibit — which was unveiled in December — reflects peoples’ reluctance to leave the spectacle, and allows the art-goer to remain in the action, even while on the toilet,” reported NBC.

Ten years haven’t really changed the reactions among people who encounter this piece for the first time — most instinctive reactions suggest that people would be unable to use it to relieve themselves.

That wasn’t my instinctive reaction at all, as I’m sure you can imagine from the title of this post.