Duchamp and I
At first we talked about entering the building and exit without seeing any of the exhibition. That would be Dadaistic. But it was cold outside. So we compromised and agreed that we go to the exhibition for the time span of an hour that our parking ticket allowed us, but avoid looking at the most famous piece: Fountain.
I have made it into a principle to avoid what tourists do. For instance I managed not to see the Eiffel Tower when I went to Paris, nor have I ever seen the Little Mermaid in Copenhagen, nor the Parliament’s dome, Reichstag in Berlin and many other tourist attractions or works of art that have been reduced to tourist attraction.
Anyway, Sam and I went to Tate Modern and as you could imagine it were not easy to overlook the Fountain. So we did see it in the end. But I wanted to make a manifestation, a disrespectful gesture towards Duchamp’s artwork. So I decided to take a photograph of myself, standing in front of Fountain, the pissoir, with my hand covering my eyes. But the guard said that rules of the museum do not permit visitors to take photographs. I told her this is a Dada exhibition, what the hell is “rules.” She seemed perplexed; I think that was the first time she had heard that word. But she repeated with more emphasis that it was “against the rules.” We got very disappointed. But we couldn’t accept that, could we? So after a while I wet in front of the pissoir and Sam quickly snapped a picture with his mobile phone.
That was a little act of Dada. But I am not really satisfied. I am thinking to go back to the museum and this time pee in the pissoir. Just wonder what would happen to me if I do that? I am sure that the Dadaists would laugh their ass off in their graves.