We dispose of excrement on a daily basis and yet there are 90 cans of an artist’s excrement across the world. The only difference being Manzoni has sealed, labelled and given the excrement worth. The fascination around these 90 cans would be, of course, the fact that no one has ever opened one to see whether it contains excrement or not. There will always be that sense of wondering until someone ignores it’s worth (with one selling for almost £100k recently) and opens it. I can’t imagine, in my lifetime, anyone will ever give in and possibly shatter the illusion Manzoni’s may or may not have created. The curiosity around these cans has long outlived Manzoni himself, being something we still discuss 50+ years later. Art is often seen as an expression of the artist, as a raw and emotional experience. Manzoni decided to take it a step further, sealing his faeces as the raw material that has physically come from the artist. The faeces in these cans came from his literal insides, what could be more intimate than that?
Personally, the humour, intentional or otherwise, is what caught my attention. I don’t believe a week has gone by where I haven’t heard the phrase ‘artist bullshit’ (or suffered at the hands of it). There’s even a website which’ll generate some artist bullshit for you..