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BEING ON LOCKDOWN. How to find inspiration in Everyday objects ? Marcel Duchamp, Robert Rauschenberg and Meret Oppenheim

By Mai 6, 2020 No Comments

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L i s a  L u k y a n o v a

BEING ON LOCKDOWN. How to find inspiration in Everyday objects ? Marcel Duchamp, Robert Rauschenberg and Meret Oppenheim

How can you be inspired when you became a prisoner of your own apartment due to external reasons? How to keep sanity and сontinue to create?

In this article, we will show you ways to find inspiration in everyday objects. Tutorial by Marcel Duchamp, Robert Rauschenberg and Meret Oppenheim on how to give a second life to such simple things as a kitchen stool, bed or even a teacup.   

Marcel Duchamp was Dada’s father, a movement that challenged long-standing speculations regarding what art was supposed to be and the manner in which it should be created. Searching for an alternative to the representation of objects in color, Duchamp started to represent the objects themselves as an art. He has chosen mass, economically available, and frequently utilitarian objects, naming them as art. „Readiness,“ as he referred to it, violated the longstanding notion of the role of the artist as a skilful creator of unique handcrafted objects. Rather, Duchamp argued: „An ordinary object [could] be raised to the dignity of a work of art by the simple choice of the artist“.  

“In 1913,” recalled Marcel Duchamp, “I had the happy idea to fasten a bicycle wheel to a kitchen stool and watch it turn.”

The bicycle wheel, therefore, is the first of Duchamp’s Readymades (sometimes produced or mass produced) to be chosen by the artist and labeled as a work of art. 

To make In Advance of the Broken Arm, Marcel Duchamp has chosen a snow shovel, hung it on the ceiling in his art studio, and named it art.

Marcel Duchamp „bicyclewheel“

Robert Rauschenberg “In bed” (1955)

Marcel Duchamp „In Advance of the Broken Arm“

Rauschenberg (1925-2008) was  blurring the distinction between the object that exists in the world and the object as a work of art. 

In its iconic “Combinations“. (1954-64) he combined the materials of artistic creation with conventional things, said: „I consider the text of the newspaper, the details of photography, the seam in the baseball and the threads in the light bulb fundamental to painting, as a brush stroke or enamel drop of paint. „

“In bed” (1955), for instance, he wrapped a huge wallboard with a cushion and a patchwork blanket, then marked it with graphite scribbles and fluffy paint hinges.

The artist Meret Oppenheim (1913-1985) gained a position in a surrealist and male-dominated movement, the members of which mostly considered women as subjects and muses for their paintings. 

To make Object, she wrapped a white decorum teacup, spoon, and saucer in the fur of a gazelle, making it weird, strong, masculine and even repulsive. It seems that this cup telling us that life is not what it looks like.