A lot of people have strong opinions about Duchamp’s readymade The Fountain.  I personally cannot stand it.  I appreciate that by taking a urinal out of its natural setting and placing it in a gallery it makes one question what is art, and what a urinal is if it’s not functional and things like that.  But I do not believe that was Duchamp’s intent.  So I guess perhaps that it’s Duchamp himself that bothers me in this situation.  He doesn’t always, there’s work of his that I like, just not The Fountain.  Danto said that the show The Fountain was in was un-juried, but I could have sworn that I read somewhere it was juried and that Duchamp himself was in the jury.  Maybe it was just that he was there.  Either way, he went around telling everyone how great this piece was while not letting on that it was his piece.  By not signing his name, to me it shows that he did not find it beautiful.  To me it seems The Fountain was more about what he could get away with than what he really considered art/beauty.  He wanted to see if he could convince people that this urinal was art and get away with it.

            That is why I prefer Warhol.  I believe Warhol really did see the whole world as art.  I think Warhol connects back to one of the first readings we did in class (On Beauty and Being Wrong), where Elaine Scarry talks about how when one sees beauty, they want to replicate it.  That’s why Warhol replicated soup cans, Brillo boxes, celebrities and even death; he found it all beautiful.  This is also another point against Duchamp in my book.  Duchamp didn’t replicate a urinal.  He just took it and signed a fake name to it.  This also indicates to me that he did not actually find it beautiful.  Perhaps I just relate more to Warhol, since too find beauty in the everyday objects around us.  I think my own photography expresses that, since I often try to capture things other people might just walk by.  Maybe that’s why I love photography so much.  I can capture and replicate the every day, like Warhol.  The world is fascinating, Warhol saw that.  I think Duchamp and the Dadaists saw the world as bizarre and not in the same positive light Warhol did.  I think the world can be both, bizarre and fascinating. 

 

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