by Sofia Hultén
The work by Sofia Hultén is currently on show in the exhibition Super Call Me Fragile Ego at Daniel Marzona. Here she speaks about the research on the material for new body of works made of portable toilets.
“Most of the plastic walls of the containers have been removed through careful cuts creating ornate open structures blandly reminiscent of architectural details from the classic Victorian era and subverting the boxes original purpose. If the Crystal Palace in London from 1851 was the architectural symbol of the early sta- ges of a globalized world and its economic achievements, then what does it mean that Hultén’s iterations of portable toilets seem like perfect ciphers of where we stand now?”
I often end up in unexpected places looking for materials for projects I am working on. Early this year I was searching for some portable toilet cabins. I ended up on the outskirts of Berlin in a huge yard with hundreds of used cabins in a multitude of colours and designs. I spoke with a very kind person who agreed to sell me a number of cubicles, with the idea that I may eventually need some more. I recently returned to the site, now to my surprise stripped and almost empty. I asked what had happened and was told all the remaining cubicles had been shredded. This was a weird moment for me, and says something about the process of material gathering, about living here, and maybe about making work in general; I have to do something, then think. If I pause too long to think about what I’m doing, if I turn away and do something else, it’s gone.