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Which clippings match 'Alfred Stieglitz' keyword pg.1 of 1
22 JULY 2012

Fountain: an ordinary article of life without useful significance

"Fountain is one of Duchamp's most famous works and is widely seen as an icon of twentieth–century art. The original, which is now lost, consisted of a standard urinal, laid flat on its back rather than upright in its usual position, and signed 'R. Mutt 1917'. The Tate's work is a 1964 replica and is made from glazed earthenware painted to resemble the original porcelain. The signature is reproduced in black paint. Fountain is an example of what Duchamp called a 'readymade', an ordinary manufactured object designated by the artist as a work of art. It epitomises the assault on convention and good taste for which he and the Dada movement are best known.

The idea of designating such a lowly object as a work of art came from a discussion between Duchamp and his American friends the collector Walter Arensburg and the artist Joseph Stella. Following this conversation, Duchamp bought an urinal from a plumbers' merchants, and submitted it to an exhibition organised by the Society of Independent Artists. The Board of Directors, who were bound by the constitution of the Society to accept all members' submissions, took exception to the Fountain and refused to exhibit it. Duchamp and Arensburg, who were both on the Board, resigned immediately in protest. An article published at the time, which is thought to have been written by Duchamp, claimed, 'Mr Mutt's fountain is not immoral, that is absurd, no more than a bathtub is immoral. It is a fixture that you see every day in plumbers' shop windows. Whether Mr Mutt with his own hands made the fountain has no importance. He CHOSE it. He took an ordinary article of life, placed it so that its useful significance disappeared under the new title and point of view – created a new thought for that object.' ('The Richard Mutt Case', The Blind Man, New York, no.2, May 1917, p.5.)"

(Sophie Howarth, April 2000)

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TAGS

1917196420th centuryabsurdAlfred Stieglitzartart historyassault • assault on convention • assault on good taste • avant-garde • black paint • contextconventioncultural signalscultural significance of objectscurationDadaDada movement • designated by the artist • Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven • everydayexhibition • fixture • Fountain (work of art) • glazed earthenware • good taste • icon of twentieth-century art • immoral • information in context • Joseph Stella • layers of meaning • lowly object • Marcel Duchampmodern artobjet trouve • ordinary article of life • ordinary manufactured objectporcelain • R. Mutt 1917 • readymadereplica • Society of Independent Artists • Tate Modern • took exception • twentieth-century art • urinaluseful significance • Walter Arensburg • work of art

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
13 NOVEMBER 2010

Polaroid SX-70 Land Camera Alpha 1: analogue instant photography

"In 1972, another revolution in instant photography was launched when Land introduced his instant 'pocket' SLR called the SX–70. This collapsible camera would indeed fit into a jacket pocket when folded, and when unfolded offered SLR viewing and focusing. The new integral–pack instant prints developed in just a few minutes and didn't require peeling."

(Chris Foresman, 21 February 2008, Ars Technica)

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TAGS

1972Alfred StieglitzanalogueArs Technicacamera • collapsible camera • craftcultural technologydesigndevice • Edwin Land • Fresnel lens • innovationinstantinstant photography • instant prints • instructional design • Land Camera • photographypioneering • pocket SLR • PolaroidPolaroid camera • Polaroid SX-70 Land Camera • product designSLRSX-70technologyusability

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
06 DECEMBER 2009

ontology: singular and multiple forms of art

"Such attention to practice creates considerable pressure to adopt at least a dualist ontology of art, in the sense that our practices appear to embed a distinction between singular and multiple forms of art. Singular artworks are unique, occurring at only one place at a time. Paintings, collages, carved sculptures, and Polaroids are typical examples of singular works. Multiple artworks are those which are capable of having more than one occurrence in different places at the same time. For example, a novel may have many copies, a play many performances, a film many screenings, and a photograph many prints. Each of the occurrences is, in some way, a full–fledged presentation of the work.

This distinction appears to doom the simplest thought, that all works of art are physical particulars. It may be plausible to claim that a painting is a particular material object, or that a jazz performance is a particular physical event, but one cannot identify Alfred Steiglitz's photograph The Steerage with any one of its prints or Peter Schaffer's play Equus with any one of its performances. As Wollheim (1980) first pointed out, the occurrences are potentially many, and one thing cannot be identical to many distinct things. So too, such works survive the destruction or passing of their occurrences, even such epistemologically privileged occurrences as manuscripts and holographs. They must be some other sort of thing."

(Paul Redding)

Fig.1 Stieglitz, Alfred. The Steerage, 1907

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TAGS

1907Alfred Stieglitzartartworkcarved sculpturecarvingcollagecreative practicecritical theorydualism • Equus • essential uniquenessholographimmigrantjazz performance • Jewish photographer • manuscriptmaterial objectmateriality • multiple • multiple artworks • multiple forms of art • occurrence • ontologypaintingperformance • Peter Schaffer • photograph • photographic prints • physical eventPolaroid • prints • simultaneity • singular • singular artworks • singular forms of art • singular works • uniquework of art

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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