UW Madison School of Art & Humanities 6th floor, men’s bathroom, was listed in the Village Voice magazine, in 1986, as the best spot in the Midwest for hot, gay sex. The school, shocked at this news, over reacted and installed a lock - issuing keys only to the faculty. This meant that the students had to walk a half-mile to the next restroom, and of course this facility then became the lone repository for such affairs. The students protested vigorously, and the school again exercised its savvy, by removing this restroom’s stalls, and installing an attending cop. Feeling this completely unacceptable, a few graduate students stole the “new faculty lounge door” off its hinges. An issue of demands was published in the school paper (complete with a photo of two panty-hose headed terrorists, holding a chain saw to the door’s throat). The school’s posture was resolute, and put a staff member on the job of making after-hour raids on graduate studios, trying to catch the culprit in flagrante delicto. The Dean came down from Bascom Hill, in an ad hoc meeting to deal with the door situation, and found that the grad students had lag-bolted the said door to the ceiling, above his seat in the conference room. The school decided to play hardball: Anyone caught in possession of the bathroom door would be fined $10,000, or receive several years imprisonment. As previously stated, the UW Madison’s School of Arts is located on the 6th floor, and with only one passenger elevator, a performance opportunity presented itself. The following week after the Dean’s ultimatum was released in the press, I hosted (with assistance from master prankster, Joe Klinehans) a traveling exhibition in the Humanities Building elevator, replete with the fugitive door, so that every faculty member was caught red-handed, so to speak, going up and down with the illicit portal. I served refreshments in urine sample cups, and generally provided educational background on the door’s recent escapades. The School of Arts & Humanities finally recognized the absurdity of the whole affair, dropped all charges, and agreed to return the men’s 6th floor restroom back to the UW Madison students.


Shaft Gallery