...when what they thought they were buying was his shit.
[quote author=“Reuters”]Famed excremental art may just be plaster
By Jessica Levy
LONDON, June 12 (Reuters) - Tins sold for thousands of dollars to collectors and museums as works of excremental art by famed Italian artist Piero Manzoni may not actually contain any of the artist’s faeces.
Comments by fellow artist Agostino Bonalumi, who told Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera this week that the 90 tins of “Artist’s Shit” had nothing in them but plaster, have provoked a response from a museum which paid more than 20,000 pounds for one of them. A spokeswoman at the Tate museum in London insisted that the revelation did not invalidate the tin as a work of art.
“Keeping the viewer in suspense is part of the work’s subversive humour,” she said.
Early in his career, Bonalumi worked with Manzoni in the late 1950s and early 1960s. The two rebelled against the conformity of the traditional Italian art scene and sought to play with the expectations of buyers. Before his death in 1963, Manzoni said he hoped his work would “expose the gullibility of the art-buying public”. The suggestion was that anything an artist made could be rendered as valuable, even if it was simply a series of re-labelled tin cans containing human excrement.
Manzoni produced the work in 1961, labelled each tin as “100 percent pure artist’s shit” in Italian, French, German and English” and sold them for the price of their weight in gold.
It’s a good job he’s dead, because this is a clear case of misleading labelling. I would think if you are gullible enough to actually buy canned shit, at the very least you deserve to get the real thing!
Please note that if anyone wants to buy my shit, piss, sputum, smeg or fingernail gunk I will guarantee it to be the genuine article!