Monday, January 26, 2015

Readymades/made by you

Our last few meetings have been very interesting with new members participating and heating up the conversations (despite the weather!)  We keep swirling around issues of how to evaluate what is happening today in the art world and how it relates to us back home here in Chatham.  The last time I was down in the city I saw a show titled:  The Thing and the Thing-In-Itself at the Andrea Rosen Gallery.

This show, curated by noted art historian Robert Hobbs focuses on the limits of human understanding that Immanuel Kant contemplated in the Critique of Pure Reason.  Ideas about how humans can only know things in the world by referencing their own experiences or “constructed views.”  Somehow these ideas and the artworks featured seems like a really interesting place for us to pick up the conversation!  By chance I also had the opportunity to see a show called By Proxy at the James Cohan Gallery.  This show brings into the conversation different tools and techniques the artist may use to create work that goes beyond what they can do with their own hands.  Between these two shows there is ample art historical information and innovative ideas we can have fun discussing at our next meeting: February 9, 2015 6-7:45pm, at the Chatham Public Library.

Readymades/made by you: to make the discussion even more interesting YOU are invited to bring in three everyday objects (or images of.) In honor of Marcel Duchamp (with work featured in both shows mentioned above,) and the notion of “readymades,” arguably one of the most important twentieth century ideas about art.  Brainstorm a list of titles for your readymades. Display or take snapshots of your readymades along with their titles. 

Did wordplay or humor play a role in the titles you selected? How do the titles affect the way these everyday objects are perceived by yourself and others? (Take a look at the links to read a little more about this artist and concepts.)

Here is a little questionnaire I found on the MoMA website to help with the process:

What Makes a Work of Art?

Make a list of your criteria for what art is by considering these questions:
  • What should an artwork provide to both the maker and the viewer?
  • Who is it for?
  • Where does one encounter art?
  • What is the role of the artist?
Some very fine quotes by Marcel Duchamp:
 “Art is not about itself but the attention we bring to it.”
“Do unto others as they wish, but with imagination.” 
“Art is either plagiarism or revolution.
“I have forced myself to contradict myself in order to avoid conforming to my own taste.” 
“I don't believe in art. I believe in artists.” 
“I force myself to contradict myself in order to avoid conforming to my own taste.”