What is art?
Art can be whatever you see or want something to be. I have mentioned here in my previous post where I listed what I thought art was to me after sitting down for a while and writing what came into my head. Everybody sees things differently and the makers of a piece of art we might be looking at will see it differently to us as well. We don’t necessarily know that what we are looking at is a piece of art until we see it or define it to ourselves that it is. I suppose we determine if something is in our own minds. Does it speak to us? Do we understand it? Do we stop and look at it and think it is nice? Our interpretation of a picture that we may find interesting and pleasing maybe lost on somebody else. They might prefer sculptures and installations. Somebody looking at the same thing as you won’t always see or feel the same thing. Art and feelings are not defined in any way as they are personal to the viewer and I think that is a good thing.
By looking at Duchamp’s Fountain, the questions about art, what it is and what we think about it can be quite puzzling.
When I first saw the piece, to me it looked like what it is, a urinal. By the artist calling it a Fountain, does that necessarily mean it is any better? I think maybe for it’s time it could have been considered a show piece and controversial. I am tending to think that Duchamp was being different and seeing something he could use as a piece of art that could be developed into something else. Something unique and different to anything else that had been seen and exhibited before. I don’t think that I like it personally. It is an installation and it means something to the artist and to a lot of viewers who would have come to see it, but not to me. I think the artist doesn’t want you to look at what you think it is, he is asking you and showing you a different way to think and feel about an object and what it may mean to you. To decide to change and ignore what you thought about the piece at first glance, the look and feel of it, the colour, the shape and it’s name makes the piece into something else entirely. I can see that and I understand and I have tried to see it as a ‘piece’ but the whole fountain/urinal thing just keeps coming back to me.