Marcel Duchamp- Turning Point of Installation

The replica of the porcelain urinal presented by Marcel Duchamp, 1917 ‘Fountain’ was an iconic sculpture of the early minimalist installation artist. It was simply signed and placed in a new space, which was a turning point that defined the concept of ‘found-object’ art that challenged the notion of what art is. He removed art from aesthetics; the space around the artwork becomes more relevant as the concept becomes more meaningful than the object itself. Hobsbawm (1994, pg.571) states that post-war modernist art practice ‘[…] consisted largely in a series of increasingly desperate gimmicks by which artists sought to give their work an immediately recognizable individual trademark, a succession of manifestos of despair’.

The thought of labelling a common object as ‘art’ was originally shocking when it was not made as ‘art’ – something audiences had never seen before. It gives the viewer a place to contemplate a simple object and find a new appreciation within it. Today, it is a much more widely accepted practice within the art world, although it does  still receive a lot of criticism from many. The key works that I have studied  stem from this point in installation art history. This turning point allowed artists to begin thinking about transforming a perception of space as well as with promoting a philosophical reaction in the observation too. It allowed artist to experiment with a new means for art, to create a new first hand experience that can’t be experienced in 2D form.

 

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