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OED Definition
Pronunciation: /SHit/
Noun (vulgar slang): 1 faeces [in singular] an act of defecating. 2a contemptible or worthless person. 3 something worthless; garbage; nonsense; unpleasant experiences or treatment. 4 personal belongings; stuff. 5 any psychoactive drug, especially marijuana.
Verb: 1 [no object] expel faeces from the body; soil one’s clothes as a result of expelling faeces accidentally; be very frightened. 2 [with object] tease or try to deceive (someone)
Exclamation: an exclamation of disgust, anger, or annoyance.
Origin: Old English scitte ‘diarrhea’, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch schijten, German scheissen (verb). The term was originally neutral and used without vulgar connotation

“When written, shit does not smell.” Roland Barthes cited in Dominique Laporte’s History of Shit (MIT Press, 2000)

“He thinks he is a sprig of parsley in the shit of the world.” Turkish proverb cited in John Berger’s A Load of Shit (New Statesman & Society, 5 May 1989 )

“What makes shit a universal joke is that it’s an unmistakable reminder of our duality, of our soiled nature and of our will to glory. It is the ultimate lèse-majesté.” John Berger – ibid.

“There is only one thing that I am looking for – Beauty. I want to make an image as beautiful as possible. When I did the Shit show, I wanted to take beautiful pictures of shit. They are very abstract but also conceptual in the sense that the language of shit is also present in the titles. There is Good Shit, Bad Shit, Holy Shit, Bullshit, etc. It was a conceptual play on words, because there was no difference between Good Shit and Bad Shit, because they were both bullshit, meaning they were the same shit from a bull but photographed from different angles against different backdrops.  I was making a statement: everyone thinks their shit is the best shit. And I was saying, if you want some shit, I’ve got the best shit in town!” Andres Serrano interviewed by Selina Ting for initiArt Magazine, April 2012.

“Shit on your whole mortifying, imaginary, and symbolic theater!” ― Gilles Deleuze, Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia (1972)

“The first draft of anything is shit” –  Ernest Hemingway

“There isn’t any symbolism. The sea is the sea. The old man is an old man. The boy is a boy and the fish is a fish. The shark are all sharks no better and no worse. All the symbolism that people say is shit. What goes beyond is what you see beyond when you know.” –  Ernest Hemingway

Piero Manzoni – Artist’s Shit (1961) Tin cans, printed paper and excrement, each 4.8 x 6.5 x 6.5cm and 0.1 kg.

Maurice Joyant – Henri de Toulouse Lautrec takes a shit (1898)

Dieter Roth – Karnickelköttelkarnickel (Rabbit-shit-rabbit) (1972) straw, rabbit dung, 21 x 10 x 19 cm

Andres Serrano – SHIT (Romantic Shit) (2007)

David Hammons – Elephant Dung Sculpture (1978) elephant dung, paint, and gold leaf, 13.3 x 15.2 x 13.3 cm

Chris Ofili – Afrobluff (1996) Acrylic paint, oil paint, paper collage, polyester resin, map pins, elephant dung on linen, 243.8 x 182.9cm

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