PART 1/CONTEMPORARY ART/PROJECT 1 – EXERCISE 1
In this exercise I have been asked to write down my first response to a picture of Duchamp’s Fountain 1950 (replica of 1917 original) (porcelain urinal) Tate Gallery. It does remind me of a man’s urinal not a fountain, I think of fountains as pretty, perhaps in gardens or parks ,as ornamental features. This certainly isn’t pretty and not sure why he’s written the letters R Mutt on the side making it even less attractive. On further research on the Tate Gallery website, I discovered that he had apparently chosen a urinal because he didn’t think it would be liked. ‘I was drawing people’s attention to the fact that art is a mirage. A mirage, exactly like an oasis appears in the desert. It is very beautiful until, of course, you are dying of thirst. But you don’t die in the field of art. The mirage is solid.’ (Otto Hahn, ‘Entretien Marcel Duchamp’, Paris-Express, 23 July 1964, p.22.). I quite liked that quote that ‘art is a mirage’ and he believed the urinal to be art, whereas there were plenty of others that didn’t. On reflection my initial response is it is not art, it’s just a urinal, so it is very interesting to see the different responses as to What is Art. The more I research the more I am questioning what is Art. I still think of Art as being a painting, a drawing or a sculpture, not in my wildest dreams would I think of a man’s urinal as being art. I find it fascinating. My immediate thoughts now are of a recent trip to Florence, Italy, strolling along the beautiful cobbled streets and coming across little stick drawings on various walls dotted around the city, I thought it was art and loved finding them, it made me excited to find them and I took several pictures, however I did wonder if they were scorned upon and were considered graffiti, but then is graffiti art? There was so much art in Florence that perhaps now I am beginning to think about the various forms, the famous statues, paintings and buildings and yet I sought out different ideas for photographs like the graffitti and this bunch
of padlocks hanging on a wall on the famous Ponte Vecchio Bridge, is this considered art? I obviously have a lot to learn but I am thoroughly enjoying the journey so far.