Things are looking kind of rough recently in America, what with our wealth gap and headlong embrace of an megalomaniacal white nationalist. But are things so bad that we're basically nothing more than a gaudy toilet country? Probably not, but just in case you feel that way, you can go to the Guggenheim and piss on a golden toilet called "America," according to the NY Times. Just whatever you do, don't laugh while you're doing it, because this toilet made of gold is very serious and not a joke.
"America" is a new exhibition at the Guggenheim and no, it's not a room where a guy stands there and explains that Neil Young didn't sing "Horse With No Name." "America" is a fully-functional and otherwise normal toilet that happens to be made entirely out of gold. And yes, you can do your business in it while summoning your inner-Spank and yelling stuff from the bathroom like "HEY LOOK AT ME! I'M SHITTING ALL OVER AMERICA!"
Artist/toilet designer Mauirizio Cattelan told the Times he doesn't want you to see his gold toilet named "America" as some kind of joke. The paper suggested it's a "an absurd sendup of inequality (and a commentary on the runaway wealth inside the art world)." Despite Cattelan suggesting that the golden toilet has a "democratic appeal" because everybody poops, The New Yorker reports that the Guggenheim won't let it become the kind of festering mess that your average public toilet turns into:
Someone from our regular cleaning staff will come by every fifteen minutes, and they’ll use special wipes, like medical wipes, that don’t have any fragrance or color or oxidizers. And we have a steam cleaner that we’ll use periodically.
As it happens, the average toilet weighs somewhere between 70 and 120 pounds and gold is currently going for $1,316.60 per ounce, which would put the cost of this serious commentary on income inequality somewhere between $1,474,592 and $2,527,872.