Artefact – Construction Cache

Excrements found in historical privies have been an important source of information for archeologists. What kind of information are we flushing away with the introduction of the water toilet? 
Harrie Liveart together with archeologists and an art historian discussed the significance of the water closet for future archeology. The starting point of this processual artwork was a pile of excrement found under a decommissioned privy in Tammisaari, Finland. A sample taken from this pile was analysed in a laboratory. Seeds from seven different species, whereof one unidentified, were found in the dregs together with fish scales and insect pupas. The unidentified seed became the protagonist of a performance story where the seed intertwines with three different temporalities: past, present and future. 
As a message to fill the gap of excrements for future archaeologists, Harrie Liveart produced a porcelain sculpture in the form of a water toilet, engraved with visualisations of the everyday toilet ritual. This sculpture is now buried under the Chappe museum 
(Tammisaari, Finland) as a construction cache.

Media/methods: installation, site-specific construction cache, performance 
Year: 2021
Archeologists: Per Nilsson, Jens Heimdahl, Ilari Aalto, Mia Lempiäinen-Avci, Andreas Koivisto, Sonja Hukantaival, Tanja Ratilainen Art Historian: Riikka Stewen

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