You Said It, Not Me
Post #1709 • June 25, 2014, 8:56 AM
Charlotte Burns reports:
“Duchamp has become a synonym for the idea that anything goes, that you can do anything and call it art. This is a misunderstanding of Duchamp’s readymades,” argues the critic Calvin Tomkins in his biography of the artist. “You could say that Duchamp has been an enormously destructive influence. But he never tried to be an influence. He was working things out for himself, and the fact that so many people have taken his example as an excuse not to make the necessary mental effort is a perversion of what Duchamp was all about.”
“What was an iconoclastic gesture has become an icon,” says Thomas Girst, the head of cultural engagement for the BMW Group and the author of The Duchamp Dictionary. “Whatever the readymade stood for during Duchamp’s time, and for Duchamp, is no longer of any value.”
Thank you, Mr. Head of Cultural Engagement for the BMW Group. Now everybody go make something better.