The exhibition, Unhappy Ready-Made hosted by the KUAD Gallery was running between January 8th and March 1st 2014 unfortunately I could just find time to write about it. It was an exhibition built on a strong background as it was a reference to Marcel Duchamp’s introduction of his revolutionary art form, ready-mades 100 years ago. The exhibition was including the works of contemporary artists: Gülçin Aksoy, Songül Boyraz, Hera Büyüktaşçıyan, Lydia Dambassina, Ivan Egelski, Erol Eskici, Şakir Gökçebağ, Hakan Gürsoytrak, Pravdoliub Ivanov, Serhat Kiraz, Komet, Murat Morova, Ahmet Öktem, Vahit Tuna, Uygur Yılmaz.
Dada Movement and Duchamp’s Ready-mades
Marcel Duchamp – Bicycle Wheel
Marcel Duchamp-Bottle Rack Repro – 1964 Original – 1914
Marcel Duchamp – Fountain 1917, replica 1964
The ready made is a form of artwork where one or more mass production objects were showed as an artwork. This term was first introduced by Marcel Duchamp with his famous works, which the exhibition celebrates their 100th anniversary, Bicycle Wheel (1913) and Bottle Rack (1914). Duchamp’s main motive in creating them was to change the importance of artist’s talent into the importance of the idea in the process of creating an artwork. Even the artist himself defines these works as a fantasy but not an artwork. He reached his aim with the work, Fountain(1917) where he turned a urinal upside down and signed as a fake name R. Mutt. Fountain was removed from the exhibition in Society of Independent Artists Inc. in the same year but still it had a big influence in changing the idea of what is art and what is not since then.
The Dada Movement, started in Zurich and spread to whole Europe was a challenge to the controversial forms of Western art, techniques and the prevailing concepts of aesthetics. Influenced by the idea that the reasons behind World War 1 are preposterous, the artists involved in the movement attempted to create things in absurdity and sarcastic humor, both aiming to show outrage to the war and to the widely accepted definition of what is called as an “artwork”.
With his ground-breaking artworks, the ready mades, Marcel Duchamp became one of the most important figures in Dadaist art. What made the ready mades that much important was that for the first time in art history, such daily and mass produced items were entering into the art world.
Lydia Dambassina – Which came first? the chicken or the egg?
Lydia Dambassina – A Blue-Green Byzantine Toy (2012)
Hakan Gursoytrak – Crown Cap (2013)
Tunca Subasi – On kasa
In light of the history of ready-mades I can say the works in the exhibition was good and very aesthetic followers of Duchamp’s art initiative. However, seeing the price tags of the works bring this question in my mind: How to decide on the value of an artwork? Mr. Duchamp was answering the continuous question of what is art in his way, he left us deciding on the value of artworks. This process however is much more difficult in the case of ready-mades, because you don’t have much clue about the artist’s ideas and motivations behind doing the specific artwork since there is often no explanation of the work and the objects are not very self explanatory. Plus there is little effort put on the works compared to products of other art movements. Again this makes us arrive at one conclusion, that art is a very subjective area and the price of artworks depends fully on the buyer’s perception.
For more information:
Exhibition web page