“In advance of snow” by Astria Suparak and Frank Olive. Photo by Elizabeth Gorfaine.


Astria Suparak with Frank Olive
Commercially produced snow shovels purchased at local stores

This interactive project was inspired by Marcel Duchamp’s first readymade, In Advance of the Broken Arm. Legend has it that Duchamp purchased a snow shovel from a stack on display at a store, took it to his studio and painted the title and “from Marcel Duchamp 1915” on the handle. Many years later, a replica of the work is said to have been mistaken for an ordinary snow shovel and used to move snow off the sidewalks of Chicago. As a munificent reversal of this historic Dadaist work, the display is rendered useful again, allowing visitors to borrow the commercially made tools from an art gallery in the deepest winter months.
Created for the city of Syracuse, the perennial winner of the Golden Snowball Award for the most snowfall in New York State.


This work was made to supplement the exhibition Embracing Winter (The Warehouse Gallery, Syracuse University, NY), which celebrated snow as the key to a delightful set of activities and as an ephemeral filter to make ordinary surroundings new again.




Rushworth, Katherine, “Snowy Season on Exhibit,” Feb. 25, 2007

“Celebrating Winter,” Feb. 11, 2007

CBS Channel 5 News, WTVH: “Feature: Embracing Winter,” Feb. 16, 2007

SYRACUSE NEW TIMES: Mellor, Carl, “Snow Daze,” March 14, 2007: p. 25

WAER 88.3 FM: “Visual Arts Near & Far II,” Women’s Voices Radio, Feb. 22, 2007. Archived on PS1 Art Radio.

SYRACUSE CITY EAGLE: Rhodes, Nancy Keefe, “Performance artist Rudy Shepherd, others, embrace winter,” Feb. 8, 2007