Margaret Morgan

Margaret Morgan is a contemporary artist whose work draws upon feminism, structuralism, and theories of post-modernism. Her work takes the form of installations made of plumbing systems; drawings in urine and builder's chalk; and photography. Her art uses plumbing as a motif to address histories of twentieth century art and life. Morgan's thesis is this: In America's twentieth century hygiene was god and the toilet its ambiguous icon. Shiny-bright, promising unparalleled cleanliness, the porcelain fixture was fetishized for its gleaming surface. It was also vilified for its inevitable failure to live up to that image. Worshipped and reviled, the bathroom has been a cipher for the many discomforts of modernity. As a figure equally prevalent in popular movies and the annals of art history, in television and in quotidian exchanges over the household chores, the toilet in the twentieth century has been a catch-all for symbolic – as much as bodily – effluvia.

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