Page 106

the treatment of functionality/non-functionality of the object, but in the treatment of the status of the artwork that establishes such a broad interpretative field. If Duchamp’s readymades carry anything else on them, undefined and hidden, the interpretative field of the readymades is narrowed down.3 If we look at In advance of the broken arm, the stick intended for holding the shovel is of a rectangular shape which makes it non-functional when shovelling snow. The object is not an actual readymade, for it has been transformed and merely gives the illusion that it is an object intended for everyday use. Only when actually used would it reveal its non-functionality and through this its tactile influence on the body of the user. Other readymades are also non-functional: not only due to their unusual position, but also because of their shape: Comb cannot be used by humans to comb their hair as the teeth are too short, the extension of the upper hooks on Trébuchet are turned downwards, thus making it impossible to hang clothes on it, and the case is similar with the Hat rack, the sugar shapes in Why not sneeze Rose Selavy are made from marble and carry a different weight then one would expect … from all readymades Fountain is possibly the least transformed or at least – taking into account the lost first version – is shown as such. Fountain does not have the upper holes, 3 ”Something else« is linked to Georgie O’Keefe’s description related to Duchamp’s work area. In the middle of the room there was supposedly something else covered in a thick layer of dust, due to which she became sick and wanted to clean it. When Stieglitz warned her that Duchamp might not be pleased with this she dropped the idea. In 1920 Duchamp worked on the project The Large Glass (The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even), on which he had to collect dust for a period of 4 or 6 months. Collecting dust can be seen on the photograph – Dust Breeding which was a joint project Duchamp created with Man Ray.

which are also not indicated in Duchamp’s miniature portable museum Boite-en-Valise (1941), while the later versions have them. The lack of material created the myth, however the question as to Duchamp’s work remains: whether he, in the dada style, merely took the object from the real world and introduced it into the art world, at which he enjoyed the temporary ridicule and the breaking of the rules as regards what art is or was he trying to introduce differences in a more sophisticated way – by changing certain characteristics of the product. Duchamp’s re-contextualisation of his own work appears to be an important factor, from which we can conclude that he had the time to follow his feelings, allow things and ideas to follow their own development, so that he could later on recontextualise them. For instance if a readymade was named for the first time at the In advance of the broken arm, Duchamp also named three work that he had previously created in the new technique.4 The recontextualisation is important also for the reconstruction and reproduction of the readymades, and at the same time it shows that their actual value lies in the conceptual sphere. When he took the readymade Fountain Duchamp created a mimetic loop. If we understand Plato’s idea of mimesis as hierarchical: concept – a copy of the concept – a copy of the copy of the concept (the concept of the urinal – urinal – a manifestation of the urinal), Duchamp substitutes the copy of the copy of the concept with a copy of the concept (a manifestation of the urinal with a urinal). On the conceptual level the mimetic structure moves from third to second place. At this we could discuss the 4 Roue de bicyclette (1913), Pharmacie  (1914) and Portebouteilles (1914)


CIIIID.indd 104

13.1.2014 23:53:26

Corpus indeterminata  

Opus Corpus indeterminata by artist Zoran Srdić Janežič