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Man Ray made the original version of this work immediately before he left New York to join the Paris Dada group. It consisted of an olive jar in which the olives had been replaced by ball bearings. The jar was labelled ‘New York’ perhaps because the upright shape evoked a miniature skyscraper. Man Ray took the object with him to France, where he explained to a customs officer that it would give him the illusion of having something to eat, should he meet with hard times.

November 2012