Re: [CR]Re: Duchamp's Bicycle Wheel (Wilson and Schmidt)

(Example: Production Builders)

Date: Mon, 20 Mar 2006 08:43:46 -0700
From: "Mitch Harris" <>
To: "Fred Rafael Rednor" <>
Subject: Re: [CR]Re: Duchamp's Bicycle Wheel (Wilson and Schmidt)
In-Reply-To: <>
References: <>

Duchamp's goal may have less to do with the casual beauty of found objects and more to do with making a point about the power and authority of the artist to declare an art function for those found objects. Sure that fork has a nice rake, and a bicycle wheel will always suggest something aesthetic, but I think Duchamp thought this generic assemblage was much lik e his "Fountain" from 1917 which was merely a urinal labled as art. He was challenging our assumptions about the authority of the aritist and provokin g our awareness (both playful and uncomfortable) that art could become less about the skill or craft involved and more about the identity and creative authority of the artist.

Mitch Harris Little Rock Canyon, Utah

On 3/20/06, Fred Rafael Rednor <> wrote:
> > By the way, the fork shown looks very much
> > like a spare Schwinn Paramount fork I have,
> > 531/Nervex with the more extreme (touring?)
> > rake.
> That's exactly the point. The idea of Duchamp's "ready-mades"
> was to make the viewer consider the inherent beauty in everyday
> objects, even if they don't have the imprimatur of the the
> people who claim to be the arbiters of taste/worthiness of
> "salon art."
> In this case, even someone like myself - who has seen and
> examined numerous bicycle forks - was moved to fully appreciate
> the lines of the fork blades and the contours of the fork
> crown's cutouts. Perhaps it had the same effect on a view
> other viewers.
> Another important aspect to piece (although this takes us
> off-topic) is that it is meant to be viewed at times with the
> wheel in motion, or with lighting tht creates ditinct shadows.
> In fact, at the current National Gallery exhibition, it is
> being displayed with that sort of lighting.
> So while you might view this thing as "just a truing stand",
> please be appreciative that there are bofa-fide, college
> degreed, museum conservators/curators who are willing to
> acknowledge the beauty inherent in objects that you too cherish
> - i.e. mere bicycle forks.
> That's enough from me on this,
> Fred Rednor - Arlington, Virginia (USA)
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