Tuesday, 10 December 2013

On Peeing on Duchamp's Art

In my earlier post on the varieties of the ReadyMade, I failed to mention an interesting example of a Reciprocal ReadyReMade, which I define as a replaced mass produced object designated as art that is then used a piece of non-art. In 1917 Duchamp selected a toilet and designated it as art, thus creating a ReadyMade. That original Fountain was lost so Duchamp later selected other toilets to stand in for the lost one, thus creating what I call ReadyReMades. Several people (Kendell Geers, Brian EnoBjörn Kjelltoft, Pierre Pinoncelli, and Yuan Chai and Jian Jun Xi, according to Wikipedia) have had the idea of urinating into Duchamp's ReadyReMade urinals. (Pinoncelli also attacked one of them with a hammer.) Peeing on one of Duchamp's urinals is the equivalent of Duchamp's idea (never carried out) of using a Rembrandt as an ironing board. By peeing into his ReadyReMade, these people turn Duchamp's ReadyReMade back into a urinal, this creating a Reciprocal ReadyReMade, perhaps one of the few members of that obscure class of objects.

[Image: Daniel Spoerri's (1964) Utiliser un Rembrandt comme planche à repasser (Marcel Duchamp)]

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