When Pierre Pinoncelli walked into a white room in Nîmes in 1993, he knew he was not in the bathroom; he knew the urinal in front of him was marked as Duchamp’s Fountain, and he also knew it was not the Fountain refused by the Independents in 1917. Pinoncelli was not only a seed merchant; he was also an artist. He revered Duchamp and his reverence fueled his disappointment with Duchamp’s decision to replicate the original readymade. For him, in reissuing and reproducing Fountain—in merchandising and franchising it—Duchamp had betrayed it. Feeling that the punishment should fit the crime, Pinoncelli took matters into his own hands. He peed into the false idol, and before the guards could overpower him, he produced a small hammer from his pocket and gave the urinal a single sound whack.
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
A single sound whack
Ed Park at the Dizzies gives an excellent passage from Leland de la Durantaye's Cabinet Magazine piece on readymades: