Page 108

not individual, and is even less intimate (in which it differs from closed toilets, on top of which it is also defined by the male gender). If we are discussing symbolic connotations Duchamp’s were undoubtedly connected to eroticism. Duchamp understood industrial and mass produced objects for everyday use as codes for human instincts already when he described their circular movement as onanistic. The readymade Fountain was at first presented as a mass produced object: prior to its use, for which it is positioned vertically, the product is kept on the shelf horizontally. The horizontally placed urinal represents merely a copy of the produced consumer object. The readymade is not lost from the concept of work, it is merely moved from one shop to another (gallery): from Tesco or Spar into Hest or Equrna. The readymade is never taken from its basic function, because it was never placed in it in the first place. The Fountain is a urinal, which just like other urinals of the period waited on the shop shelves to obtain the function for which it was created, only that it as a work of art became captured in this wait. As such it lost its brutality, which was in the first instance shown in the way it was roughly torn from the shop and in the clumsy R.Mutt1917 signature. It is a consumer good that will never totally realise its path from production to sale and find its way to a toilet. It is caught in the postponement of the consumer’s desire.8 Prior to being purchased by the 8 Even though he never actually said this out loud Duchamp believed that the best readymades would be mass produced objects from overflowing shop shelves. Regardless of the promotion of the product, which creates additional value for the object and defines the user’s lifestyle and identity, mass consumption products do not have added value in the sense that they would belong to history and with this already indirectly carry a meaning. Mass consumption products in circulation are aesthetically more neutral than a previously used object, for this obtains ‘individual’ characteristics, while a mass con106

CIIIID.indd 106

consumer any product creates a desire for satisfaction, pleasure. When the consumer purchases the product he comes close to pleasure, however once he consumes it, he shifts the pleasure through time.9 The pleasure is created by the desire creates, not the actual fulfilment. A readymade in the function of a work of art can never be consumed and is constantly trapped in the postponement of its use. With this it returns the consumer’s view to the viewer of the work of art. The entire process of presenting Fountain moved to the conceptual level, which might have not been Duchamp’s original intention, but he did not oppose it, and he took notes from the event that he could use later on. In order for the work to establish itself in the conceptual field, it needs to be shoved there – i.e. out of the usual world of objects. Because the readymade got lost, Duchamp made copies, which can be considered as a planned gesture. Important was the concept itself: the conceptual identity with the concept of the object, not subject reality, nor its subject functionality, object surface or inner relations between the forms. It is not important whether there is one Fountain or more of them in the conceptual field, because the concept itself is a matrix. The material reality that enabled the introduction of the concept needs to be lost. In the opposite case the object dominates over the concept and turns into a fetish.10 If the object is not present, that its sumption product is merely one in the mass of still unused ones. On the other hand they match Duchamp’s thesis of comparing a readymade to paint much better: similar to the painter’s paints the readymades are the artist’s means or material for expressing himself. 9 He shifts it to the search for a constantly new desire and new satisfaction –this way the subject can never be satisfied. 10 The moment when the Fountain was presented to the exhibition committee for the first time, was a tactile one. Du-

13.1.2014 23:53:27

Corpus indeterminata  

Opus Corpus indeterminata by artist Zoran Srdić Janežič