Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Midterm Essay: Marcel Duchamp

“You cannot define electricity. The same can be said of art. It is a kind of inner current in a human being, or something which needs no definition." These words were said by the man who changed the course of history with his unique perspective of art. Marcel Duchamp was a pioneer of the DADA movement which questioned long-held assumptions about what art should be, and how it should be made. Duchamp argued, “An ordinary object could be elevated to the dignity of a work of art by the mere choice of an artist.” I completely agree with this artist, because any object or piece of work can be art, there should be no standards to the definition of “art.” There is beauty in everything, and an object or setting does not need to be glorified for it to be granted the title of “art.”
Duchamp challenged the belief of what art is or should be, the first sets of “readymade,” artwork sent shock waves across the art world that is still present in this world today. The term “readymade,” came around to describe mass-produced objects which were taken out of their usual context and promoted the status of these objects by the mere choice of the artists.
Even though Duchamp founded success as a painter in Paris, he left that world because he was more so interested in ideas and not just a visual project. And, it was his idea which shook up the core of the “art world,” at the time. His new idea defied the common notion that art must be beautiful. Duchamp claimed to have chosen everyday objects “based on a reaction of visual indifference, with at the same time a total absence of good or bad taste.” By doing this, Duchamp may have knowingly or unknowingly paved the path for conceptual art, which is art that was “in the service of the mind,” this simply means that there is something more to this work, rather than just to please the eye.
Overall, Duchamp was a pioneer who led the DADA movement which shook up the art world and allows us to appreciate different objects for what they are, and realizing something does not need to be glorified to be granted the title of “Art.”

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