The Fountain by Marcel Duchamp looks like a urinal, no, actually it is a urinal. Everyone who saw this art piece must have the same question,“Is it art?” Although Fountain first appeared almost 100 years ago, it still gives shock to people now. This art piece causes discussion about the range of art. Marcel Duchamp is called the artist who divided the before and after of modern art, and his successors visited Korea.
Who is Marcel Duchamp?
Marcel Duchamp liberated artists’ hands. He transferred common objects like toilettes, glass, and wooden boxes (ready-made) to a new dimension, and broadened the range of art. His new invention of art was based on materialism, and mass production which was caused by industrialization. He defamiliarized common objects and granted new meaning to them. He wanted to emphasize that “Art is not only in the visible object, but also in the mind.”
Successors of Marcel Duchamp
The French Art Today Exhibition displays the art of 16 influential artists who were nominated to receive The Marcel Duchamp Prize. This prize is presented to young artists who succeed Marcel Duchamp’s avant-garde spirit. Some of these artists even visited the exhibition hall, and installed their art in person. Gilles Fuchs, the president of The Marcel Duchamp Prize, said, “The purpose of The Marcel Duchamp Prize is on the promotion of the French art scene on the international market. We reject the idea that art is for a few elite, and promote the idea that art is for everyone.”
A Little Bit Different, but Special
Since artists who participate in this exhibition are these kinds of artists, this exhibition is a little bit different from ordinary picture-placed exhibitions. Most of the art pieces are formative art and installation art. One of the memorable pieces was Mougenot by Celeste Boursier. This piece consists of three blue water tanks, and in the water, there are many white ceramic plates. In this water tank, light electricity is produced by a pump. The electricity makes water tank to turn, which makes a beautiful sound as the ceramic plates clash to one another. It was a fresh experience because I could listen to the art piece’s sound. I thought there can be numerous other music if I change the number of ceramics and strength of electricity. This exhibition was a little bit different from ordinary exhibitions, and thus special to me.
Art for Everyone
I really enjoyed visiting, but I felt there is just one thing missed on this exhibition. As I mentioned above, Gilles Fuchs, the president of The Marcel Duchamp Prize, said, “We reject the idea that art is for a few elite.” However, unlike his statement, I couldn’t erase the impression that this art exhibition is not that quite corresponds to what he said. Maybe this is partly because of my ignorance to abstract art, but still, I felt this exhibition need some more explanation or communication with visitors. But still, it was pleasant and fresh feeling to experience something different with my ordinary daily life.