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Which clippings match 'Assault' 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
20 APRIL 2012

The amateur video which sparked the 1992 Los Angeles Civil Unrest

"in March 1991, television screens across the world broadcast [George Holliday's] videotaped footage of LAPD officers raining down 56 baton blows on an African American named Rodney King. ... on April 29, 1992, a jury in Simi Valley, one of the whitest exurbs of Los Angeles, acquitted three of the four officers involved in beating Rodney King. The response in South Los Angeles was loud and immediate: That night, thousands of residents, black and Latino, took to the streets, starting a four–day riot that destroyed more than 1,000 buildings, injured 2,500 people, killed 58, and resulted in $1 billion in damage and 16,000 arrests."

(Josh Sides, 19/04/2012, Design Observer)

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TAGS

19911992 • 1992 Los Angeles Civil Unrest • acquitted • African Americanamateuramateur cameraamateur videoarsonassault • baton • beating • brutalitybystandercitiescitizen journalismcivic engagementcivil disobediencecivil libertiescivil rights • civil unrest • damageethics • exurb • eyewitnessforce of law • George Holliday • high-speed pursuit • Hispanic • injusticejustice • LAPD • Latasha Harlins • Latino • looting • Los Angeles • Los Angeles Police Department • Los Angeles Riots • manslaughter • motoristmurderpolicepolice brutality • police officer • povertypower corrupts • property damages • real behaviourriot • rioted • riots • Rodney King • self-control • Simi Valley • social differentiationsocial responsibility • South Central Riots • suffering injustice • television report • unethical behaviourunjustunjust powervideotapedvideotaped footage

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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