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taking the piss

March 27, 2010

[The Economist via Intelligent Life] Critics tend to declare that Marcel Duchamp’s urinal, entitled “Fountain”, is the most important artwork of the 20th century. Yet its standing as a collectable object has always lagged behind its value as an idea. The work questioned notions of authenticity when Duchamp first purchased the mass-produced plumbing fixture and signed it “R. Mutt” in 1917. Now, over 40 years after the artist’s death, the problem of legitimacy remains relevant as unauthorised urinals have been discovered circulating in Italy. The art world loves paradoxical conceptual gestures, but it seems that someone might be taking the piss. (read)

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