The coming two weeks Various Artists will work in the Morpho house on nn.Pearls.
More info about nn.Pearls:
In December 1961, Manzoni wrote in a letter to his friend Ben Vautier:
“I should like all artists to sell their fingerprints, or else stage competitions to see who can draw the longest line or sell their shit in tins. The fingerprint is the only sign of the personality that can be accepted: if collectors want something intimate, really personal to the artist, there's the artist's own shit, that is really his.”
When there is shit involved in an exhibition, one cannot not refer to Piero Manzoni.
Manzoni's critical and metaphorical reification of the artist's body, its processes and products, lead the way towards an understanding of the artist identity and product of the artist's body as a consumable object. The Merda d'Artista, the artist's shit, dried and canned 'with no added preservatives', was the perfect metaphor for the bodied and disembodied nature of artistic labour: the work of art as fully incorporated ‘raw’ material. Manzoni understood the creative act as part of the cycle of consumption: a vicious circle of reprocessing, packaging, marketing, consuming.
The act of valuing body fluids or excrements as art products or a method to make art was made possible by that first tinned can of shit. Artists who add body substances to a piece of work confront nature (here the body) with culture and puts the value of artworks in an interesting perspective. The artistic value of an object is only realised by the act of the artist - producing and exhibiting -, giving him (or playing with) a so-called divine status in a context where this is accepted. Humour, playfulness and self-irony balances this status and gives a responsibility to the public.
Various Artists uses a body as a tool to produce an artwork or to transit the art object, i.e. the pearl that reduces in size but gains in value due to the mere act of swallowing and shitting it out.