The current study is an attempt to decode the formation and structure of the contemporary Western Bath, through anthropological and psychoanalytical approaches. The analysis is to take place upon the four-fold schema “substances- body- equipment- space”.
Substances: The characteristics of bodily excretion and their relationship with the subject are approached and interpreted through the process of abjection. Ideas concerning cleanness and pollution. How dirt can constitute the product of a system of classification and symbolism. How the concept of dirt comprises the interrelation of order and disorder, of being and not being, of the form and the formless, of life and death. How the tendency towards cleanliness is psychoanalytically related with inhibited anal eroticism.
Body: The correlation between the biological and the social body.
The education of bodily behavior. The relevance of space with body design, with the experience of the unconscious body image, self-definition of the subject.
Equipment: Equipment is divided into two categories: That which is connected with the act of washing (bathtub, washbasin and shower) and that which is connected with the act of defecation (water closet). Both acts are analyzed. The form of the equipment is perceived as the outcome of bodily shape, social standards and mechanization. Explanatory comments on how the body creates the space which is going to receive its waste.
Interpretation of the relationship between the subject and the act.
Space: The spatial structure of the contemporary bath. The role of the water supply- drainage network. The dipolar notion of cleanliness and dirt inside the bath. The bath is portrayed as a mechanism of disappearance. Disappearance of the body, the acts, the substances and the inhibited desires.