Duchamp's Urinal

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Duchamp's Urinal

From Mani Deli

Published before 2005


Jeffery LeMieux wrote:
Actually, though I don't much like Duchamp's products, I agree with the MOMA that his urinal epitomizes the 20th century approach to art. [...] Duchamp's urinal is a significant "work" because it jumps past all the theory and displays the ultimate end of the modernist approach to art making.

Trust me, one urinal, (and a friggin century of knockoffs) is ENOUGH.

Duchamp's pisspot reminds me of an incident. A guy once asked me to join his secret society. Among other things he told me I would learn their secret handshake.

The fact was that except for members of his club no one really gave a shit about these secrets and the only reason for them was that they enhanced a feeling of self importance on its members. Much modern art and the pseudo philosophical gas which accompanies it is analogous here.

Duchamp's urinal is just another put-on. It is about as important as last month's horse racing sheet.

Contemporary Modern Academic put-on-specialists rarely talk about the urinal lest people think their masterpieces are not new and original. The only people it influences today are modern art historians whose books hardly anyone other than a small artzy fartzy faction reads.

Duchamp was talented, possessed intellect and some skill but was a lazy fart. He produced more gas then painting.

His early painted works are interesting and are among the few abstract works which express three dimensions. He is historically admired for doing all the show-biz nonsense which is presently required for fashionable success today. His urinal, most later works and lots of his statements are really just plain stupid. He was a Dadaist who outlived his time and admitted it. He did the right thing by taking rich old ladies for a ride long before Warhol got the idea and he remained fashionable unlike so many other Dadaist losers.

Duchamp is also a major academic role model for most of today's art students. They attempt to repeat his antiquated ideas and suffer a nostalgia for a Dadaistic world that never was. They evoke the old nonsense aesthetics in Post Modernist babble which they imagine is utterly new.

The Modern Academic student unlike Duchamp, can't draw at all, has little knowledge of art history, lacks technical skill and intellect and imagines himself a great artist. Unlike Duchamp, the Modern Art student never earned his right to laziness and is in most cases destined as an artist to earn purely abstract non-objective money.

Duchamp had a good sense of humor and an intellectual attitude and I respect his way of life. I have nothing against charlatans, especially when they treat it with humor. "There's a sucker born every minute."

I think anyone who can make a living selling artwork without a modicum of skill should do so. I sold my abstract schmiers whenever I needed to.

... Today's clown prince of art is still Warhol not Duchamp.