Before I tell my story, I want to say that the fact that this conversion/argument is even taking place at all, that there is discussion, is proof that it is an effective piece. It made people think, it made people feel. Whether someone them think idioticly or not, they’re only making the work more successful.
Anyway, a few summers ago I went to Paris with my family and we spent like an entire day in the Pompidou - which, for those you might not know, is the huge and incredible and best-ever modern art museum. But I didn’t really appreciate most of it while I was there. I hate two entire facebook photo albums full of pictures of the pieces there, and all the captions are mocking the pieces. Now that I’ve grown up into a hopefully less obnoxious version of myself, I’m just thankful to have those pictures whether the captions are stupid or not.
But anyway, the piece that stuck with me most was something that, at the time, I just called “that urinal on a pedestal”, but later learned is “The Fountain” and it’s by Marcel Duschamp.
It is legitimately just a urinal sitting on a pedestal with a signature on it.
So at the time it was memorable because I thought it was funny, because I was an immature 15 year old girl. And some people might still think it is. They might think it’s funny, or they might think it’s annoying, or whatever. But that’s the thing - that is exactly the point of this piece.
The point of The Fountain is to challenge the idea of what art is and what it isn’t. Does it have it follow certain guidelines? Does it have to be symbolic?
Yes, it was easy to make. Yes, you could do it yourself. But the point it is making is so clearly valuable that it’s being discussed all over tumblr for a piece completely unrelated.
Art doesn’t have to be difficult to make for it to be of value, and you don’t have to comprehend it. The fact is, when I was an immature 15 year old in Paris, I didn’t comprehend it at all, and yet it still stuck in my mind for exactly the reason it was intended to. I was skeptical whether or not it counted as art, and that was the intention. To make people question it. It made me think, it made me feel, and it changed the way I perceive some things. That is art, whether you get it or not.
you have addressed a point I have not addressed yet tonight and you have done it fabulously