Serious artist Justin Bieber, imbued with the flouting of convention that is the hallmark of all serious artists, seriously peed in a mop bucket—a bucket that, in the tradition of Marcel Duchamp, Bieber recontextualized as a seriously artistic urinal. The confrontational performance took place earlier this year at a New York restaurant, where it was captured on video by a member of Bieber’s entourage, the Wild Kidz, a group that dares to challenge authoritarian edicts that restrooms are for pissing and mop buckets are for mopping, because they are wild.
“You’re not gonna remember him pissin’ in the restroom—like, everybody does that,” remarks one of said Wild Kidz, correctly noting that history favors the bold and the #swaggy. Let the bland and forgettable pee from their ordinary, correctly tailored pants into their boring, ordinary toilets. Justin Bieber pees freely as a serious artist, as the late Thomas Kinkade would.
As TMZ says, “Whoever's job it was to mop the place up had to physically change Bieber's disgusting piss water”—correctly identifying the work’s commentary on the hierarchy between celebrity and non. Most immediately, of course, some poorly compensated janitor had to empty Justin Bieber’s disgusting piss water, then replace it in order to mop the floors after Justin Bieber And The Wild Kidz were done being in this bitch. But in a broader sense, do we not all look upon Justin Bieber’s disgusting piss water, day after day, helpless to similarly do nothing more than shrug, hold our nose, and go on with the drudgery of our menial, non-swaggy lives?
On his way out of the club, Justin Bieber—like all serious artists—closed by incorporating a political message, taking aim at a photo of Bill Clinton with a non-piss-water bottle, and lightly spritzing it while exclaiming, “Fuck Bill Clinton!” The symbolism is clear: Bill Clinton, his reputation once stained by his own swagger, has been absolved and abluted by time; once again the Whitewater rolls right off of him, the weak, directionless spray of a feckless idiot. Yet here Justin Bieber literally pisses on the illusion that anyone, or anything can be clean, because even that which we use to clean up after ourselves has piss in it.
This is Bieber’s serious art. This is his serious piss.