January 6, 2006

Now it Matches The Large Glass

by Nick Montfort · , 12:38 pm

A French artist has just attacked Duchamp’s Fountain with a hammer, slightly chipping the prize-winning urinal. He “claimed the hammer attack was a work of performance art.” The police have not released the man’s name, but press accounts note that in 1993 he relieved himself into what would later be voted the greatest piece of modern art, when it was on loan to a museum in Nimes. In fact, the person who did that hammered Fountain back then, too. Pierre Pinoncelli, j’accuse.

5 Responses to “Now it Matches The Large Glass

  1. Ian Bogost Says:

    Nick, this reminds me of another, if less dramatic, example of “digital art” we uncovered at DAC 2005, but which now I cannot remember.

  2. nick Says:

    Ah, yes. Actually they were digital games. Footsie (a borderline case, better classified as a play activity) and thumb war.

    Fortunately we didn’t actually uncover either of these going on.

  3. Ian Bogost Says:

    Ah yes. I suppose Footsie is a digital game as much as Sim City is a digital game, of another sort. Thumb war, clearly a digital game.

    As for Pinoncelli, can one construe the act of urinating in Fountain in 1993 as, erm, also digital art?

    And for that matter, how do we feel about this account of the act, as characterized by the AFP wire:

    The urinal, considered a seminal piece to come from the early 19th-century Dada movement, is valued at some three million euros (3.5 million dollars).

  4. nick Says:

    Duchamp: filling the museum with seminal pieces since the early 19th century.

  5. mark Says:

    I’m a bit late on this, but I noticed that this isn’t even the original Duchamp urinal, which has long since been lost, but a copy of it. I’m unable to figure out if this is a copy imbued with the magical aura of art by Duchamp himself, or if the museum just unilaterally declared their urinal a “copy” of Duchamp’s.

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