GUERILLA ARTIST, KARMA KHAZI TO LAUNCH NEW EXHIBITION:
MULTIMEDIA SHOW INCLUDES NEW MUSIC CREATED AT RADIOHEAD STUDIOS
AND SHORT FILM BY DOUBLE-BAFTA WINNER, LEE PHILLIPS
"KARMA KHAZI HAS BECOME A CONNOISSEUR OF A PARTICULAR FEATURE OF THE SPECTACLE:
THE TOILET DOOR.”
Guerilla Artist, Karma Khazi has announced an ambitious new, multimedia exhibition that celebrates the ‘purest form of free speech’ - the toilet cubicle door.
More than a century after Marcel Duchamp plundered a public toilet to make us question what art is, Karma Khazi follows his footsteps to mine inspiration from London's pub cubicles.
Sh!t Show is an exploration of ‘social commentary’ the artist discovered after visiting 250 pub toilets in five days and photographing the graffiti scrawled on the walls, doors and ceilings.
The centrepiece of the show will be a single, black door with 63 pieces of graffiti, all pulled from different toilet cubicles and each with their own unique view on the world.
Other pieces in the show include 63 individual canvases reflecting the graffiti’s messages, fibreglass pub signs and other sculptures and art to bring the collection close to 100 pieces in total.
The show will extend beyond physical art - music created at Courtyard Studios (Radiohead, Gaz Coombes, The Stranglers) and mixed at the legendary Abbey Road will soundtrack the exhibition, and a short film by double-BAFTA winning filmmaker Lee Phillips sheds light on the work and its origins.
It is an idea borne of the modern age, when debates over free speech and cancel culture pervade, and we have an unprecedented audience for our opinions.
And yet, as Karma Khazi explains, the toilet might be the only place where we truly express ourselves.
“You’re in this private realm and it’s the one place where anything goes,” he says. “You can say what you want without being conscious of a backlash. Those marks that people leave behind are typically somebody’s most impulsive expression.”
“It’s kind of the final frontier of free speech. Even with social media, it’s not that easy to just say what’s on your mind any more. Something you said 10 years ago can be brought back up and you'll get into trouble for it, and suddenly you have to apologise and go back and delete everything.”
“When you go into these cubicles, you sit down on the toilet; you look at the back of the toilet door and you see all the social commentary people have written.
"I’ve always wanted to make a conceptual exhibition based on the back of toilets doors. It’s like the original social media.”
Who is Karma Khazi? Well, his identity remains a secret, because Sh!t Show is a product of other people’s work, a celebration of the wit, wisdom and creativity of Londoners. As an artist, he has sold works all over the world, named as a Saatchi Gallery One To Watch and exhibited in some of the country’s best known galleries.
But Karma Khazi is new. It’s different. And it’s more ambitious than anything he’s done before.
Sh!t Show London is a hyper-local dissection of the population's thoughts; a view into the unfiltered minds of the capital’s residents and visitors. But it marks only the beginning of the journey.
“There’s a real, strong narrative about our capital city,” he says of the show. “But it’s only our capital city. After this, I’ll move to another city where their thoughts are different and their worries, anger and love will be directed somewhere else. That’s the beauty of it. We’ll go to Paris next and that show will pull back the veil on an entirely different way of thinking.”
“Every single one of the 63 pieces on here was made with absolute, raw creativity,” he says.
After trialling many techniques, Karma Khazi perfected a hybrid-stencil print method that enabled him to preserve the unique handwriting of each comment.
“All of these people who wrote these comments, they were sitting on a toilet. They’re not intending on making a work of art. They’re not trying to contrive something. But what they are doing is creating a work of art. It fascinates me.
“Although some of the content is nonsense and is just the most impulsive thing that comes into their mind, some of it is really considered, and it’s the dynamic between the two. But inevitably, it’s always made in the vein of knowing you’re anonymous. You’re able to wholeheartedly be yourself in that moment. Some people are lovely, some people are horrible. Some of it’s dark, some if it’s colourful. But it isn’t what they’d say when their name was on the wall, or their photo as a profile image.
“Some of them are controversial as hell. Some of them are sexist, some of them are racist. This isn’t a place to condone any of that, but it’s a place to show how our society is shaping up right now, in an unfiltered way.”
Sh!t Show London will open to the public at 133 Bethnal Green Road, E2 7DG from January 26-28.
Entry will be FREE.
We will also be hosting a private view on January 25 from 6-9pm. Please contact us using the details below to be added to the guest list.
For further information, images or to request review or interview opportunities,