Is this art.
Duchamps famous toilet started a dispute about the nature of art. What to you think?

Is this art.

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Posted Sep 30, 2012 - 3:03 AM:
Subject: Is this art.

Is this art?

Are there are usable criteria for defining art? effort? creativity? Is it possible to objective grade art?


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Posted Sep 30, 2012 - 3:57 AM:

Why not start by posting something that is incontrovertibly art? We can move on from there (hint: be careful).
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Posted Sep 30, 2012 - 6:22 AM:

"R. Mutt 1917"...


What is being said there?

Could be a play on the German word "Armut" (poverty)... a comment that art is poor or that the artists live in poverty or has a poverty of new ideas?

Could simply be an indicator of what it is... "R.M" = "readymade" and the "utt" = "eut été"?

Duchamp said that the "R" stood for "Richard", a slangterm for a "moneybags", amybe saying something about "moneybags piss pot"?

The form of the "Fountain" looks a bit like this...

The creative act is not performed by the artist alone; the spectator brings the work in contact with the external world by deciphering and interpreting its inner qualifications and thus adds his contribution to the creative act. - Marcel Duchamp



On Sep 30, 2012 - 8:14 AM, Bobard responded: Nice picture on the left, but it's hardly canonical is it? Surely Leo was just knocking these out? Edited by Bobard on Sep 30, 2012 - 4:29 PM
On Sep 30, 2012 - 12:16 PM, mayor of simpleton responded: Does L.H.O.O.Q. say anything to you?,r:5,s:0,i:85
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Posted Sep 30, 2012 - 10:06 AM:

It seems to me that anything declared art by its creator is art, for art is subjective and the end-goal of the art may be entirely secluded in the mind of it's creator.

That is the mystery of art: to gaze it over and wonder what the hell the artist was thinking, or why its art at all.

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Posted Sep 30, 2012 - 3:20 PM:

If it was created by an artist and it's on display somewhere then it gets to be called art. Art requires no technical skill these days so what it looks like or what effort it took to put it together is largely irrelevant. You can take a shit on a pedestal and be feted as the next big thing if you're the right person in the right place at the right time.

Whether it's good art or not is another question, and it can't be answered in any meaningfully objective sense. We can only ponder: Does it float our boat? Does it take us to another place? Does it hit the right neurons? Does it give us the urge to perform a bodily function?

Tangent: What if there were a display so freakishly disgusting it made a significant number of those who saw it vomit. Would it be art just for that? Would a video of said vomiters throwing up (in slow motion of course) be art? Would their sick be art? Would a live display of the artist eating their vomit be art?

If there is a point to any of this, it's maybe that art and the absurd are inseparable, so anything goes as long as someone, eh, swallows it.
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Posted Sep 30, 2012 - 3:53 PM:

Why does it matter? Is it because in classifying something as art we think we are conferring prestige where it isn't always deserved? But the fact is that this is the sort of shit that's in the galleries.*

I think a better question is what has art become? I saw an interview with Damien Hirst. The interviewer asked him "So art is about concepts rather than skill?" To which Hirst Replied (with obvious contempt), "Of course, otherwise you might as well be doing macramé." And I think we have to grant that he has a point. Nobody can be Leonardo today. Nobody can do the equivalent today of what he did in art back then, by doing what he did.

I believe Arthur Danto has claimed that in the 20th century visual art became philosophy, leaving the senses behind. Overtaken by film and photography, it had no avenue except concepts. The trouble, for me, is that art isn't a very good way of doing philosophy. It appears to be very widespread to ask, upon seeing an abstract painting, boring questions like "what is the artist trying to say?" Many think that's how one is supposed to approach art. They have forgotten to just look. There was a time when most paintings (and this includes most abstract paintings--especially those, in fact) were just about vision, shape, colour, light and dark, movement, etc. (Sorry, yet again I'm indulging in nostalgia for modernism.)

*I happen to think Fountain was a brilliant joke/philosophical piece, but one that only worked as a one-off and brought to a head some of the problems that artists were facing in the 20th century, i.e., what to do? Incidentally, just to clarify what it's doing, two of the crucial things about it are that it's signed, and that it's turned on its back for display. Duchamp's question then is, is that all it takes to be art, i.e., the artist's mark and the merest touch of the artist's hand (a parody of sculpture)?

Edited by jamalrob on Oct 1, 2012 - 5:29 AM
On Nov 22, 2012 - 12:28 AM, Know-Nothing responded: nod @ this
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Posted Sep 30, 2012 - 4:38 PM:

Art has traveled a long way since it's "creation". One cannot expect an artist to remain at the same value that Michelangelo was. Think of art as a reflection of society, the mirror of humankind, because that's what it is. Art reflects the most humanly attribute we have...Our creativity, the only thing that separates us from the rest of the fauna (although that is another topic). If we think of humanity as a single person we would see the stages of our development, a toddler in our bronze age, barely discovering the world around us. Then a little child in antiquity, hungry for knowledge, soaking it up from everywhere. Coming then the dark ages...our teen years, fed up with everything our parents (Nature) tried to teach us and just being on stand by with the occasional burst of reason. Finally bringing us to our young adult years, the age which one learns what it really valuable and what is not, challenging the ideas of the old ones not for the sake of rebellion but for the sake of understanding and improving... What is life? What is beauty and knowledge in my eyes...are they really right? Or are they just outdated ?

Simply put, art is all about challenging and discovering new trains of thought. Be it simple, be it complex and well thought all a piece of art needs for it to be worthy of being called art is the spark of inspiration. Inspiration = Revelation = Thinking outside the box = Creativity = Progress = Inspiration and so forth.
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Posted Sep 30, 2012 - 4:52 PM:
Subject: Pierre Pinoncelli: This man is not an artist

You might find this article interesting...



btw... since this guy attacked the "artwork" with a hammer, it can now be viewed as such... (my photo from last year's visit to Paris)

Edited by mayor of simpleton on Sep 30, 2012 - 4:59 PM. Reason: a picture is worth 1000 shakes...
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Posted Sep 30, 2012 - 5:59 PM:

prothero wrote:

Is this art?

Absolutely! It is almost identical to those in the bars that I use to visit, so it also gives me good memories...
On Sep 30, 2012 - 6:01 PM, mayor of simpleton responded: ... and a lot of relief as well!
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Posted Oct 1, 2012 - 3:35 AM:

Would it still be art if they had connected the urinal to the building's infrastructure and let the consumers relieve themselves in it?
On Oct 1, 2012 - 12:26 PM, ciceronianus responded: I suppose it would in that case be "performance art."
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