stefan banz, fountain (homage to marcel duchamp's fountain, 100 years to the day), visijet pxl core pulver eco, edition of 8 (+2 +2), 14 x 10 x 4 mm (put in a glass of 50 x 43 x 43 mm), 2016, private collection and courtesy the artist.
bradley bailey on the work, in marcel duchamp, fountain, an homage, exh. cat. francis naumann fine art, new york, 2017, p. 20:
as the co-founder (with his wife, the artist caroline bachmann) of the "world's smallest museum," the kunsthalle marcel duchamp / the forestay museum of art, stefan banz can be considered an authority on making the most out of something very little, which is exactly the case with his work inspired by fountain. adhering closely to his precondition of making the smallest possible work, banz designed fountain, a life-sized, 3d-printed viagra pill displayed in a shot glass. banz considers the form of manufacture essential to the work, as he likens the 3d-printed, trompe /'oei/ "pill" to a multiple in the tradition of the 1964 edition of fountain, which was comprised not of readymade, industrially manufactured urinals but handcrafted ceramic sculptures. the only visual cue that discloses the artificiality of the fabricated tablet is the substitution of the name of the pharmaceutical's manufacturer pfizer with the word fountain, the letter finscribed in a pronounced script that recalls the manufacturer's corporate logo. the "pills" were executed in an edition of 8 + 2 + 2 (another reference to the 1964 replica edition1 ) by banz's son jonathan, a specialist in 3d printing.
banz also sees his viagra "pill" as a reflection on the correspondence of fountain to the female body, "i always saw in the representation of duchamp's fountain on the pedestal in stieglitz's photograph something like an abstraction and/or metaphor of/for a female torso with a vulva in the center."2 in this highly sexualized sense, fountain is transformed from a receptacle for urine into a receptacle for seminal fluid, which links it thematically with elements of duchamp's two major opuses, the large glass and etant donnes. indeed, the connection to the latter work is especially potent for banz, who makes his home in cully, not far from the waterfall le forestay, which was the inspiration for the waterfall in etant donnes. banz also equates the lack of actual potency (100 mg is the highest dosage of viagra commercially available) of the fake erectile dysfunction "pill" to contemporary american politics in the era of donald trump, whose postfaktisch (or "post-truth") political culture based on emotion rather than facts involves a healthy dose of "alternative facts" or fabricated truth.
1 the 1964 replica edition was produced in an edition of eight plus two sets for exhibition purposes, as well as a set each for duchamp and schwarz, for a total of twelve sets.
2 email correspondence with banz, january 29, 2017.
new publications (for more information go to: publications):
stefan banz, aldo walker : logotyp. en gardant un œil sur marcel duchamp et william copley. en collaboration avec le mamco, genève. français; 14 x 10,5 cm, 232 pages, 87 images en couleur et en noir et blanc, couverture rigide, entoilée, dos plat, €20.00, isbn : 978-3-903131-69-9 (verlag für moderne kunst, www.vfmk.de); 978-2-84066-481-9 (les presses du réel, www.lespressesdureel.com). information : english | français
françoise jaunin, la chute d'eau, le lac et le plus petit musée du monde. conversation avec caroline bachmann et stefan banz. français; 21 x 14,8 cm, 70 pages, 34 images en couleur, paperback, art&fiction, lausanne, isbn: 978-2-940570-20-1, CHF 22.50 / € 18. publication éditée dans le cadre des rencontres arts et sciences de l'espace chuv. postface de caroline de watteville.
stefan banz, louis michel eilshemius und sein einfluss auf marcel duchamp. mit einem vorwort von ugo rondinone, herausgegeben mit / published with verlag für moderne kunst, wien; deutsch; 288 seiten; 22 x 16,5 cm; fester einband; mit 161 abbildungen (die meisten in farbe), 35 euro, isbn 978-3-903131-12-5; (with a foreword by ugo rondinone), german; 288 pages; 8 11/16 x 6 1/2 inches; hardcover; with 161 illustrations (most of them in color), 35 euro, isbn 978-3-903131-12-5. note: this is a smaller german version (without the "collected documents," but with some new evidence) of the award winning comprehensive english publication:
stefan banz, eilshemius: peer of poet-painters – winner of the 2016 rollins book award, and of the 2016 eric hoffer book award. the book was also shortlisted for the Jan Michalski Prize 2016 in Switzerland). the first comprehensive publication on this eccentric american artist (with swiss and german roots) louis michel eilshemius (1864–1941), who was discovered by marcel duchamp on the occasion of the first annual exhibition of the society of independent artists at the grand central palace in new york in 1917. the book includes collected documents, a novel of facts, by and about louis m. eilshemius, and an extensive study of his influence on marcel duchamp, english, 768 pages, 479 color and 53 black an white illustrations, format 31 x 24 cm, hardcover. distribution: jrp|ringier zurich – us 100, euro 80.00, chf 98; isbn 978-3-03764-435-5.
merlin james on the book, in the burlington magazine, april 2016
roberta smith on the book, in the new york times, november 27, 2015
luc debraine sur le livre, in l'hebdo (français), september 17, 2015
katharina holderegger rossier über das buch, in: kunst-bulletin (deutsch), oktober 2015