The Great Peeps Extravaganza: A Duchamp edition
By Jenny Fan
posted: 05-02-11
6,146 Cubic Peep, by Chillon Leach of St. Paul
Image Source

Pioneer Press, a daily running out of St. Paul, just concluded its 2011 Pioneer Press Marshmallow Peeps Diorama and Video Contest. . For those of you who do not keep up with local news in St. Paul, Minnesota or with the near cult favorite kingdom of Peeps, the Peeps Diorama contest has been an annual tradition for the inhabitants of the Twin Cities for the past 8 years. And Peeps are those pink and neon colored soft marshmallow candies, often shaped into teeny bunnies and chicks, that are the source of the baffling and pervasive Peepdemic.  (For proof, see how a real-life scientist says the threat of a Peepdemic is all too real.) This year’s contest drew 200 participants who created a smorgasbord of stupendous dioramas where Peeps were re-incarnated as Lady Gagas, criminals behind bars, angsty married couples, protestors who braved both Cairo and the Wisconsin State Assembly. They featured scenes from "The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest," etc.  Among "Justin Peeper Fever," "Harry Peepdini," "Prince William & Kate Peeps at the Royal Wedding," and "Peeples Fishing," (Look here for more) is "6,146 Cubic Peep," by Chillon Leach of St. Paul--which is described as being "evocative [of] Duchamp's In Advance of the Broken Arm" by Pioneer Press. 

Leach's inspiration came from the big snow storms earlier this year.  Her diorama tried to capture the mountains of snow she shoveled as well as the stolid individuals who tried to dig and plow through them.  Leach adorned her peeps with meticulously sewn fur hats and mittens, and more relevant to our interest, accessorized with the gray shovels.  The connection between Duchamp and 6,146, not to mention other installments of Peeps may be far-fetched.  But one wonders how Peeps could have changed Duchamp's readymades, and how Duchamp would have changed Peeps had Peeps been created previous to the 1950's. 

For more entries in the 2011 Pioneer Press Marshmallow Peeps Diorama and Video Contest, check out Pioneer Press's gallery. The Peeps World Record can be found here, where you can find "Most Peeps Balanced On An iPhone" and "Most Peeps Eaten In 30 Seconds." General information on Peeps can be found at

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