Graffiti and Handprints at Johnny-on-the-Spot

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Graffiti and Handprints at Johnny-on-the-Spot

Postby Hoopes » Tue Sep 02, 2003 11:38 pm

The Johnny-on-the-Spot tribute to Marcel Duchamp's "Fountain" was originally intended as a clean, white installation, almost like a white bird sitting on the playa. It was constructed with white paper and white lights that caused it to glow at night. On Thursday night it was clean and white, as a porcelain bathroom fixture should be. On Friday night, it became filled with graffiti (almost like the interior of a bathroom stall) that was was washed off by the artists. On the night of the burn, the piece was redecorated on the interior with muddy handprints that were reminiscent of the 30,000-year-old decorations on the walls of Paleolithic caves. It was also defaced on the outside with black, spray-painted graffiti.

Perhaps BRC is the wrong place for a clean, white sculpture. Johnny's bare walls were just too much of a temptation for an artistically inclined crowd. It was well known that David Best invited people to write on his Temple, but Johnny was intended as a counterpoint to the Temple of Honor and David Best's accomodation of the wishes of burners.

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Last edited by Hoopes on Thu Oct 16, 2003 11:00 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Art and BM Art

Postby Borris » Tue Sep 02, 2003 11:46 pm

Art, especialy at BM is an evolving thing.
once the artist set his instalation it goes into the public domain and there Grafiti is not uncommon and should be seen as an artistic evolution.
a pissouare with graffiti is just what i'd expect to see after being for a couple of days on the playa.
and No i didn't do it.[/quote]
Shit, where was i for the last week... ehm...
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hmmmmm

Postby Bobo_Chickenherder » Wed Sep 03, 2003 12:04 am

Correct me if I'm wrong,
but didn't Duchamp's "Fountain" have graffiti on it.
something like R.Mutt 1917

The original piece itself was not pristine
so maybe some clever burner was commenting on your oversight
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Postby Hoopes » Wed Sep 03, 2003 5:08 pm

Permitting the audience to add graffiti as part of the expression of a piece would have been pure Dada. My personal opinion is that Duchamp would have especially enjoyed the "non-aesthetic" kind.
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Guilty

Postby KurtRuckus » Wed Sep 03, 2003 6:13 pm

I stumbled on to the Johnny-on-the-Spot installation sometime on Saturday and seeing people inside, crawled in myself. I didn't know what the intent of the art was, but upon getting inside, found the walls covered with hand prints and the few people there adding their own. There was a pool of water in the middle and dipped my fingers in looking for mud. I even asked people if the piece was supposed to be a finger painting space. I then, in fun, scrawled "Die Eggchair, Love Pyromid" on the wall to add to the sense of rivalry to our pending battle the next night, knowing that it could easily be wiped clean if someone found it offensive. My apologies to the artists if this was offensive to them. It wasn't until later that someone I ran into was laughing about the "Die Eggchair" graffiti that I even realized that the piece was supposed to represent a toilet. I like the fact that if it was supposed to be a toilet that the bowl needed a couple scrubbings. I don't think it's cool that someone used spray paint for their graffiti. My $.02.
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Postby barbu » Wed Sep 03, 2003 11:12 pm

good .02 cents. duchamp, a true burner, would most likely spraypaint your own "eggchair," laughing all the way...maybe he'd scrub it down two too many times....
high on the hilltop...
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Ha ha ha

Postby sleepy » Mon Sep 15, 2003 10:18 am

Many thanks to whomever started the wall painting. Consider yourself the lead artist of Johnnyonthespot.
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Handprints at Johnny-on-the-Spot

Postby Hoopes » Tue Sep 30, 2003 11:34 am

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View of the Temple of Honor through Johnny's Portal

Postby Hoopes » Tue Sep 30, 2003 11:36 am

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Postby jbelson » Tue Sep 30, 2003 12:33 pm

I confess to being a finger painter, and can even see my work in the top left corner of first picture. I drew a butt with handprints on each cheek (of course a true artist as myself doesn't usually shamelessly plug as such).
But I am availiable for parties and corporate events.
"I gotta have more cowbell"
Bruce dickenson, legendary rock producer
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Clean white paper.... hurmmmmmmmmm.

Postby hylo » Fri Oct 31, 2003 6:36 pm

I was in JOTS very early in the week and there was not a bit of marking on any of the walls. I had a pen and was very tempted to start the assult but felt kinda bad being the first person to touch the clean white surface within. How many bathrooms have you been in that dont have at least one marking on the wall? Boy dont I feel silly now.

In the end it burned just the same.... Not much to argue about here... move along.
budgetcamp is not just for burningman... Its a way of life. Support your local starving artist.
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Postby Isotopia » Fri Oct 31, 2003 9:34 pm

Johnny's bare walls were just too much of a temptation for an artistically inclined crowd. It was well known that David Best invited people to write on his Temple, but Johnny was intended as a counterpoint to the Temple of Honor and David Best's accomodation of the wishes of burners.


Was that point made clear by the artist(s) either by installing a descriptive note or having people stand watch at the piece? Ideally people wouldn't pull such shit but like everything else on the playa sometimes you need to let people know what your needs/wants are and be ready to hold to them - especially if its a big art piece where you're gonna be having thousands of people stopping by with differing interpretations or ideas about what the piece is supposed to elicit in the viewer or observer.
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Postby Jane Eric » Sat Nov 01, 2003 5:37 pm

And here I was thinking all this time what a fine example of potty humor it was. It certainly looked like a pun within a pun to me. To really expect people NOT TO PLAY with provided materials is sheer folly.

I saw the first group that went for it. I assumed it got squeeeeegeeeeed down each day because it was just after dawn when I was there. I added my J. Eric to play a pun within a pun within the pun.

Dang. Now it's just a john.
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Postby madmatt » Fri Nov 07, 2003 10:20 am

I agree with Jane Eric. I have serious doubts about the pretentions of any work of art to stay pristine on the playa. Obviously, vandalism is fucked, but considering it was burned, and was so big, it was a building that people could spend time in, I don't find it shocking that people put stuff on the pristine white walls. I saw photos of the muddy handprints and such on it, and I gotta say, I thought it looked pretty damned cool.
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