Artist's Shit, 1961

"Artist's Shit  consists of 90 tin cans, each filled with 30 grams of faeces with a label in Italian, English, French, and German. In May 1961, Piero Manzoni produced ninety cans of Artist's Shit. Each was numbered on the lid 001 to 090. The tins were originally to be valued according to their equivalent weight in gold – $37 each in 1961 – with the price fluctuating according to the market. In October 2008 tin 083 was offered for sale at Sotheby's and sold for £97,250. On October 16, 2015, tin 054 was sold at Christies for the astonishing sum of £182,500."

I believe this work gave a strong comment on consumerism and just how stupid it is. Even though this piece of work is produced as a metaphor that 'explores the relationship between art production and human production’, it still shows me just how stupid people can be. For me, anything on earth be it gold, platinum, or a piece of painting only has value because we give it to them. Something items exist as they are but just because they are shiny and pretty, people gave them ridiculous values. The same as this, just because people see it as art, people start to give value to a can of shit produced in 1961. People will just buy anything as long as we can make them believe in the value we give it.


© Jaratchai Chongjaroenjai, all rights reserved