Tag Archives: Marcel Duchamp

What Is Art?

” A Pale Green Mermaid Blog “

The eternal question amongst modern-day artists of all kinds.  The writing group I lurk in, because I don’t have anything smart enough to say yet, had a discussion about this and Studio 360, a fab radio art talk station was also talking about this dilemma so, thought I’d put my 2 cents into the mix!

Art is anything that comes from a connection to the artist’s spiritual introspection.

For example an artist filled up a dump truck with stuffed toys

not art-

another artist entered a urinal with a fake signature into a show


Why because one was done  for sensationalism  and the other was done / created, after introspection about the effects of war on society and the pain  and confusion it produces. A manifesto ( artist talking points about their theories) was written and the artist tried to follow a line of thinking, a curve of expression that depicted that confusion/pain and it’s effects on everyday life.

So there it is my nutshell take on ART and art!

What do you think?


The other thing about art is everyone can say whatever they think about a piece but the only true person who knows is the artist and even then a part of art/creation is always mysterious, unknown even to the artist.


What is Dada?

Why this 1916-1923 “non-art movement” still matters in the art world


Dada was, officially, not a movement, its artists not artists and its art not art. That sounds easy enough, doesn’t it? Of course, there is a bit more to the story of Dadaism than this simplistic explanation.

Dada was a literary and artistic movement born in Europe at a time when the horror of World War I was being played out in what amounted to citizens’ front yards. Due to the war, a number of artists, writers and intellectuals — notably of French and German nationality — found themselves congregating in the refuge that Zurich (in neutral Switzerland) offered. Far from merely feeling relief at their respective escapes, this bunch was pretty ticked off that modern European society would allow the war to have happened. They were so angry, in fact, that they undertook the time-honored artistic tradition of protesting.

The original Fountain by Marcel Duchamp, 1917, photographed by Alfred Stieglitz at the 291 (Art Gallery) after the 1917 Society of Independent Artists exhibit. Stieglitz used a backdrop of The Warriors by Marsden Hartley to photograph the urinal. The exhibition entry tag can be clearly seen.


Below From http://www.wikipedia.org

Marcel Duchamp arrived in the United States less than two years prior to the creation of Fountain and had become involved with Dada, an anti-rational, anti-art cultural movement,


Fountain is a 1917 work widely attributed to Marcel Duchamp. The scandalous work was a porcelain urinal, which was signed “R.Mutt” and titled Fountain. Submitted for the exhibition of the Society of Independent Artists in 1917, Fountain was rejected by the committee, even though the rules stated that all works would be accepted from artists who paid the fee.


Below from  http://www.wikipedia.org

Marcel Duchamp
Marcel Duchamp playing chess (photo by Kay Bell Reynal, 1952).jpg
Marcel Duchamp playing chess in 1952. (Kay Bell Reynal photo in the Smithsonian Institution Archives of American Art.)

Birth nameHenri-Robert-Marcel DuchampBorn28 July 1887
Blainville-Crevon, FranceDied2 October 1968 (aged 81)
Neuilly-sur-Seine, FranceNationalityFrench, became a U.S. citizen in 1955FieldPainting, sculpture, filmMovementDada, SurrealismWorksNude Descending a Staircase, No. 2 (1912)
Fountain (1917)
The Bride Stripped Bare By Her Bachelors, Even (1915–23)
Étant donnés (1946–66)


Below from –Wikisource

Dada Manifesto (1918, Tristan Tzara)

<Author:Tristan Tzara

The text (partial)of the Dada Manifesto, written in 1918. It is one of the most important texts regarding Dadaism.

Dada Manifesto by Tristan Tzara, March 23 1918

The magic of a word – DADA – which for journalists has opened the door to an unforeseen world, has for us not the slightest importance.

To launch a manifesto you have to want: A.B. & C., and fulminate against 1, 2, & 3,

work yourself up and sharpen your wings to conquer and circulate lower and upper case As, Bs & Cs, sign, shout, swear, organise prose into a form that is absolutely and irrefutably obvious, prove its ne plus ultra and maintain that novelty resembles life in the same way as the latest apparition of a harlot proves the essence of God. His existence had already been proved by the accordion, the landscape and soft words. * To impose one’s A.B.C. is only natural – and therefore regrettable. Everyone does it in the form of a crystalbluff-madonna, or a monetary system, or pharmaceutical preparations, a naked leg being the invitation to an ardent and sterile Spring. The love of novelty is a pleasant sort of cross, it’s evidence of a naive don’t-give-a-damn attitude, a passing, positive, sign without rhyme or reason. But this need is out of date, too. By giving art the impetus of supreme simplicity – novelty – we are being human and true in relation to innocent pleasures; impulsive and vibrant in order to crucify boredom. At the lighted crossroads, alert, attentive, lying in wait for years, in the forest. * I am writing a manifesto and there’s nothing I want, and yet I’m saying certain things, and in principle I am against manifestos, as I am against principles (quantifying measures of the moral value of every phrase – too easy; approximation was invested by the impressionists). *

I’m writing this manifesto to show that you can perform contrary actions at the same time, in one single, fresh breath; I am against action; as for continual contradiction, and affirmation too, I am neither for nor against them, and I won’t explain myself because I hate common sense.


Go to the website to finish reading the manifeato it will be worth it and you will never look at art in the same way again…..it is not a simple thing.

Dada Manifesto (1918, Tristan Tzara) – Free media library



Have a Da Da esque Wednesday!


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On A Lighter Note- Did you Hear About The Pant-less Bicycle Race This Weekend In Philadephia!


” A Pale GreenMermaid Blog “


Now I”m not saying I’m going ,

and I’m not saying it is even possible,

 (Have you ever rode a ten speed! I have and well…Kudos to those who can do it – Alfresco as it were-!)  But – you can always depend on Philadelphia the city of Brotherly love, cheese steaks with competing stands, Benjamin Franklin, a gentleman who spent his free time standing in thunder storms flying a kite with a key attached searching for that elusive bolt of lightening, the city where Marcel Duchamp (Artist) deemed it proper to leave his life’s work (check out Philadelphia Museum of Art)… stepping up to the plate of life.

Perhaps it is the residue rebellious nature of the descendents who waved the flag ” Don’t Tread on Me ” during pre- revolutionary days,  ( I myself have some of that exploratory /you and who else? attitude running around inside of me from being a  relative of Daniel Boone)  that sparks declarations/ movements and the like.

Whatever, something is always breaking loose in Philly and people work to make things better never forgetting to  add that quirky fun funky element  that makes life an unexpected source of serious sassy serendipity!

Oh by the way, that naked bike race is to promote less fuel consumption and has taken place worldwide in over 70 cities!  This Sunday in Philly.


See Philadelphia Daily News at   www.philly.com

Marcel Duchamp at Philadelphia Museum of Art  www.philamuseum.org


Have a sassy Friday!

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Da Da / An Artist Rebellion Against WWI and Conforming to Societies Demands

GALLERY CHAT on Friday Night                                ” A Pale Green Mermaid Blog “


 DaDa Art was called the anti – art, it was made to provoke feelings of confusion and sometimes disgust that would in turn force you, the viewer, to question what is art and what is not.                                                  (One of my favorite DaDa artists was Marcel Duchamp.  Below I use a group of his images As examples.)

A good example of this is  the image below,


 It is called ” Fur Covered Cup Saucer and Spoon ” 1936



Portrait of Marcel Duchamp ( He was an aficionado of the game of Chess )


Or an image like this which was a reaction to cubism, what do you see there?

It is called ” Nude Descending A Stair Case.” 1912


 According to its proponents, Dada was not art, it was “anti-art.” For everything that art stood for, Dada was to represent the opposite. Where art was concerned with traditional aesthetics, Dada ignored aesthetics. If art was to appeal to sensibilities, Dada was intended to offend. Through their rejection of traditional culture and aesthetics the Dadaists hoped to destroy traditional culture and aesthetics.

As dadaist Hugo Ball expressed it, “For us, art is not an end in itself … but it is an opportunity for the true perception and criticism of the times we live in.”[5



Have a   DaDa Weekend!

For further research…





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