Monday, December 01, 2008

Tale of 2 wheels

When Sean has an extra wheel, he puts it in the pit. Like pictured here for this weekend's muddy VA state cyclocross championships at Mt. Trashmore in VA Beach.

Everybody knows that extra wheels never go uncycled as long as there is "pit shit" as Walt calls it. Sean with his pit wheel satisfies our sense of industry, of utility, of the rugged individualism embodied in cyclocross. Sean against the backdrop of mud stands strong behind his clean pit wheel, both ready to roll.

(Photo by BJ Samuel. See more race photos in Bob and BJ's gallery.)

While you guys were racing, I was browsing some new displays at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. I saw the pit wheel wholly out of its element there. Artist Marcel Ducamp built his first version of "Bicycle Wheel" in 1913, but it was lost, likely because someone needed a pit wheel or a stool, one.

This 1951 version combines two "mass produced parts. . . creating a sort of nonfunctional machine. . . . He subverted established notions of the artist's craft and the viewer's aesthetic experience." That means he was tired of the pit shit but didn't want to sit around either, so he bonded the objects in a mutually dysfunctional retirement for us to sort of perversely enjoy. It purposely turns around our pit wheel sense of industry, utility and individualism, and if we want to sit to ponder it, too bad, no stool.

(Read the entire placard of "Bicycle Wheel.")

1 comment:

Stormyva said...

Those are some great photos! I really wish I was able to make it out there to Trashmore last weekend! There were some awesome photo ops there!
I have to say thanks to you.... "a little birdie" came across my blog by way of yours and may be helping with my job hunt.