In a message dated 12/1/04 5:01:23 PM, Mike writes:
> With danger of going way off topic....
> According to news reports within the past hour (see Comcast's front page),
> Duchamp's 1917 Urinal titled fountain was named the most influential work of
> modern art according to a survey of 500 art experts.
> This does tie into the idea of what is art, and should get us to think about
> what might make a bicycle "art."
> My personal belief is that the juxtoposition of both form and function, as
> embodied by the French touring bikes is the best example of bicycles and art.
> Others may choose the elegance of a track bike. Others may opt for the
> beauty of a handcut set of lugs.
> Mike "shoulda invested in rare plumbing fixtures" Kone in Boulder CO
I definitely agree that bikes are art, but I think the similarity between "Fountain" and our bikes is tenuous...
Duchamp's work was significant not so much because it was an unaltered functional object... what was significant was that he turned it on it's side. Even without the title, it thus became another object as we viewed it. This is different from hanging a track bike on the wall... unless you turn it upside down and invite the viewer to see it in a new way (twin ferris wheels? Mickey Mouse ears?).
Often considered similar to "Fountain", and very nearly on-topic, was Picasso's "Head of a Bull", constructed by combining two found objects... a leather bicycle seat and a pair of handlebars. Though the two works initially seem related, they are really miles apart because Picasso combined two familiar objects in an interesting way to form a new construct, while Duchamp's work was an unaltered object that had merely been reoriented. Thus it was seen as a very significant commentary on the nature of art and perception.
Personally, I like the "Head of a Bull" a whole lot better.
Anyone care to guess at the make and model of saddle he used?