News: Duchamp Urinal Attacked

News: Duchamp Urinal Attacked

Alec
Jan 10, 2006

Did you hear that last week, a guy attacked a replica of Marcel Duchamp's famous sculpture Fountain on display at the Dada exhibition at the Pompidou Center in Paris? We read about it over at Boing Boing, who wrote that "Apparently, the artwork was only slightly chipped and the attacker, Pierre Pinoncelli, was arrested."

From the New York Times:

Mr. Pinoncelli, 77, who urinated into the same urinal and struck it with a hammer in a show in Nîmes in 1993, has a long record of organizing bizarre happenings. Police officials said he again called his action a work of art, a tribute to Duchamp and other Dada artists.

Indeed, "Fountain" itself was rejected for being neither original nor art when Duchamp offered it for the first exhibition of the Society of Independent Artists in New York in 1917. That version of the urinal, displayed upside down and signed "R. Mutt," was subsequently lost. The Pompidou's "Fountain" is one of eight signed replicas made by Duchamp in 1964.

After the attack on Wednesday, Mr. Pinoncelli was held by the police overnight. He was released on Thursday and ordered to appear in court here on Jan. 24 to answer charges of damaging the property of others. As in 1993, he could face a prison term or a fine. (After the first urinal attack, he was jailed for a month and fined the equivalent of $37,500.)

Duchamp would be so proud!

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