Arte Útil

  • (2009) productie / production 2016
  • Tania Bruguera
  • urinal, art historical references, porcelain enamel
  • ca. 54 x 32 x 35 cm
  • Location VAM, C1, 06, 00 Herentoilet
  • Acquired in 2015
  • Inventory number 3225
  • met steun van / with support of VriendenLoterij

The Van Abbemuseum Collection consists of over 2800 artworks. We publish texts and images on an ongoing basis, but this record is currently in the process of being documented.

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In 1917 Marcel Duchamp placed a urinal on its back in an exhibition hall. By depriving the object of its practical use, signing it and presenting it as a sculptural object, he declared it to be art. Tania Bruguera installs such an autographed urinal in the museum’s public toilet. By restoring the urinal to its original purpose, she invites us to consider the usefulness of art and its function within society.

The authorship of the original work has recently been called into question. Most likely it is not by Duchamp, but by Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven.


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