Australian Women’s Museum Moves Exhibit to Restroom

Image credit: Jesse Hunniford/The Guardian

The Museum of Old and New Art (Mona) in Tasmania, Australia, has moved part of its “Ladies Lounge” exhibit to the women’s restroom in protest of a court ruling that declared the women-only space discriminatory. The exhibit, curated by American artist Kirsha Kaechele, has faced legal challenges since April 2024 after the Tasmanian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (Tascat) found it violated anti-discrimination laws.

The “Ladies Lounge,” launched in 2020, was created to address historical gender inequalities, drawing inspiration from past practices where women were often excluded from public spaces. The exhibit features artworks by renowned artists and male butlers serving champagne, flipping traditional gender roles. However, the exhibit came under scrutiny when Jason Lau, a resident of Sydney, filed a complaint, leading to a tribunal ruling that the museum must allow entry based on gender identity.

To comply with the ruling while maintaining the exhibit’s women-only status, Kaechele proposed transforming the space into a functional art piece, such as a women’s restroom or a church, which could qualify for legal exemptions. She announced this change on social media, stating the museum had never had female-only toilets before.

Mona has appealed the tribunal’s decision, arguing that the “Ladies Lounge” promotes equal opportunity and challenges gender norms through artistic expression. Meanwhile, the museum announced that men would be allowed entry on Sundays for educational sessions on domestic chores like ironing and folding laundry, adding an inclusive twist.

Kaechele believes the legal challenge has enriched the exhibit, highlighting the historical exclusion of women and the need for dedicated spaces. She sees the upcoming installation of a toilet within the Ladies Lounge as a symbol of transforming exclusion into empowerment and solidarity.

Re-reported from the article originally published in She the People.

Australian Women’s Museum Moves Exhibit to Restroom

Image credit: Jesse Hunniford/The Guardian

The Museum of Old and New Art (Mona) in Tasmania, Australia, has moved part of its “Ladies Lounge” exhibit to the women’s restroom in protest of a court ruling that declared the women-only space discriminatory. The exhibit, curated by American artist Kirsha Kaechele, has faced legal challenges since April 2024 after the Tasmanian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (Tascat) found it violated anti-discrimination laws.

The “Ladies Lounge,” launched in 2020, was created to address historical gender inequalities, drawing inspiration from past practices where women were often excluded from public spaces. The exhibit features artworks by renowned artists and male butlers serving champagne, flipping traditional gender roles. However, the exhibit came under scrutiny when Jason Lau, a resident of Sydney, filed a complaint, leading to a tribunal ruling that the museum must allow entry based on gender identity.

To comply with the ruling while maintaining the exhibit’s women-only status, Kaechele proposed transforming the space into a functional art piece, such as a women’s restroom or a church, which could qualify for legal exemptions. She announced this change on social media, stating the museum had never had female-only toilets before.

Mona has appealed the tribunal’s decision, arguing that the “Ladies Lounge” promotes equal opportunity and challenges gender norms through artistic expression. Meanwhile, the museum announced that men would be allowed entry on Sundays for educational sessions on domestic chores like ironing and folding laundry, adding an inclusive twist.

Kaechele believes the legal challenge has enriched the exhibit, highlighting the historical exclusion of women and the need for dedicated spaces. She sees the upcoming installation of a toilet within the Ladies Lounge as a symbol of transforming exclusion into empowerment and solidarity.

Re-reported from the article originally published in She the People.