This Sunday, 9th April, museums around the world will celebrate the 100th anniversary of Duchamp’s Fountain, one of the most iconic works of art history. A porcelain urinal with no intervention but the signature “R. Mutt 1917”, it ushered forth a way of thinking without which Conceptual Art would be impossible to fathom. 9th April 2017 will be the centenary of the First Annual Exhibition of the Society of Independent Artists in New York, which rejected Fountain (submitted under the pseudonym Richard Mutt by Duchamp, who was on the event’s committee).
So, if you’re in-the-know (as you now are) and arrive at participating museums between 3pm and 4pm on Sunday, you will be granted free admission if you say the magic password “Richard Mutt” to entrance staff. Some institutions, such as the Staedel Museum in Frankfurt and the Philadelphia Museum of Art (home to the world’s largest collection of works by Duchamp) will even turn selected men’s restrooms into unisex spaces for holding impromptu Duchamp-themed readings, homages and performances.
Participating museums include:
China: Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing
France: Centre Pompidou, Paris
Germany: Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin; Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin; Staedel Museum, Frankfurt; Lenbachhaus, Munich; Staatsgalerie Stuttgart, Stuttgart; Staatliches Museum Schwerin, Schwerin; Museum Ludwig, Cologne
Israel: the Israel Museum, Jerusalem
Japan: the National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto
The Netherlands: Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam
Sweden: Moderna Museet, Stockholm
Switzerland: Kunsthalle Basel, Basel
UK: Serpentine Galleries, London; Tate Modern, London
US: the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia