Showy Off Shit // 2005

Process Room // Irish Museum of Modern Art // Dublin



Putting the Piss in Art


In 1995 Duchamps Fountain was shown as part of the show ‘Beyond the Pale’ in IMMA. I sent a proposal (which I have lost) to Declan McGonagal (a previous director of IMMA) asking him if I could do a performance in the museum.

The proposed performance consisted of me urinating in the fountain. My argument ran along the lines of the creative input of the audience being an integral part of the process of the mysteries of art. I felt that the audience could become more involved in the creative process through concrete interaction. A role reversal of sorts, where the audience could transform the said art object back to its functional roots a piece utilitarian plumping.

Needless to say I received a negative reply, which fobbed me off saying that the museum didn’t own the sculpture and couldn’t give permission for me slash tactics. I also lost or misplaced this letter, but if I’m recall correctly, at the time I felt he completely ignored and bypassed my philosophical arguments.

Anyway to make a long story short, I never went ahead with my transformative piss. This was something I regretted. I regretted it more a few years later when I read about the 2 Chinese Artists (?) who had the courage to act on their ideas and had a piss in a Duchamp Fountain. (Did they have a slash together at the same time?).

In hindsight if I did go ahead and take the plunge and take me lad and matters into me own hands and have an unsolicited piss would have resulted in
A. My ejection the museum.
B. My barring from the museum
C. I would also not have found myself in this privileged position of being on the Artist Residency Program.

So in a bid to rectify my chicken shitness I have decided to assuage my regrets and guilt I have decided to do a wee little recreational performance. Here’s to plenty of water and lets hope I don’t get stage fright.