Fountain By Duchamp Analyze And Illustrate By Example The 'anti Art' Nature Of Dada. Who Were They Angry With And Why?

1608 words - 6 pages

Dada was a movement in art, literature, music, performance and film that was invoked by the advent of World War I. Switzerland, a neutral country, became the refuge of many who objected to the war. In Zurich, 1916, Dada emerged distinctly as an active refusal of and attempt to subvert the prevailing values of the bourgeois society that supported and protected itself with the war. Dada sought to refuse these values in every guise they took, to disrupt them with its violence and rhetoric, to destroy and heal simultaneously. Language was targeted through poetry, periodicals and manifestos, because it was being used to present the unjust as just, illogic as logic. Logic itself was denounced in the contradictory statements and actions of Dadaists, because logic turned young men to cannon fodder. So chance, the logic of nature, was granted equal importance to the cerebral process and played an important role in many manifestations of Dada. Considered a culture's finest and most distilled product, art was to Dada the greatest illustration and support of the social sickness. Art became the bull's eye over the bourgeois heart and anti-art, a term said to be coined by Marcel Duchamp in 1914, was the weapon. By disrupting artistic and cultural convention, Dadaists hoped to disrupt the values that had brought about and supported the continuation of the war.Though Zurich was the birthplace of Dada, New York also became a harbor for European artists seeking shelter from the war. Arriving in New York in 1915, the French artist Marcel Duchamp met Francis Picabia and Man Ray. By 1915 the three men had created a whirlwind of anti-art activities around themselves. Though they never labelled themselves Dada, their motivations paralleled their Zurich counterparts. As Richter recalled, Dada activities in New York "were different, but its participants were playing essentially the same anti-art tune as we were. The notes may have sounded strange, but the music was the same."The work most closely associated with anti-art is Duchamp's Fountain; a urinal signed R. Mutt and positioned so the surface normally mounted on a wall, became its base. Fountain belongs to a broad category of objects called "ready mades". The ready-mades were mass-produced objects; the selection of which Duchamp claimed in his 1961 "Apropros of 'Readymades'" was based on a reaction of visual indifference with at the same time a total lack of good or bad taste. Duchamp made clear his intention of the ready-mades when he stated in Apropos his idea of a 'reciprocal ready-made': to use a Rembrandt as an ironing board.Fountain was a powerful affront to the art world and an inimitable success of anti-art. It violated and reset art boundaries, separating it from other anti-art product which tended to reinterpret existing art forms, relying on the work of past modern art schools such as the Futurists, Cubists and Expressionists.In 1917 Duchamp submitted Fountain to the newly formed Society of Independent...

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