Duchamp Reloaded Reloaded

Here is a projet I’ve been waiting/lingering to finish and install for over a year now. It’s definitely been the most challenging project I have taken on individually until now. The whole story is worth telling about.

When I started looking into street art, I was in a buying-books frenzy. Couln’t stop. In what has become one of my favorite books, I stumbled upon a page featuring Ji Lee’ Duchamp Reloaded project. Since I study Art History, I was automatically drawn to the autoreferential humor of it: it was a remake of Marcel Duchamp’s Bicyclette readymade, but locked outside the MoMA as if it were a bike. The funniest thing is to know the original from 1913 is just inside ( imagine the MoMA employees’ faces). The concept was perfect. It was a street art and Art History pun. It was also intelligent: Lee said about it: ”In 1913, Marcel Duchamp took found objects from the streets and placed them in art galleries. 96 years later, if Duchamp were alive, he may want to do the very opposite”. I thought that was great thinking. I even thought it was such a great idea I should reproduceit but I didn’t think I’d be able to build the actual thing (that was before I found out yarnbombing was my way of doing street art).  BUT Around the the end of summer 2011, randomness of life made me walk by a copy of Lee’s copy of Duchamp, right next to my University’s entrance. I couldn’t believe that someone else did the same thing that was in my book and that I thought was so fantastic I wanted to do the same. How great! Some weeks later, the chain that locked the readymade to the bike rack got cut off and the bicyclette was placed under the school’s porch entrance. I grabbed it, thinking if someone had to take it, it might as well be me. Back home I realised it was absurd and against my values to take away street art from the street so I decided to yarnbomb it and put it back where I found, hoping to get in touch with the original sculptor (not Duchamp nor Lee but the third one).

So this is how the thing got back to where it was, some 15 months later. But yarnbombed. more photos here

Duchamp Reloaded Reloaded


duchamp’s original readymade in 1913

Ji Lee’s Duchamp Reloaded

Objet Trouvé 12 , the one I found last year

5 responses to “Duchamp Reloaded Reloaded

  1. I go to UQÀM, and when I saw it it instantly warmed my heart. I’m so glad of the important presence of yarn bombing in Montreal. It makes me want to get involved.

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