The Metamorphosis of Junk

In 1917, Marcel Duchamp signed a urinal and declared it a work of art, baptising it Fountain. Before patenting his own shade of blue (International Klein Blue), Yves Klein (see above) went one step further than Duchamp by adding his signature to the sky itself. The atmosphere was his ready-made. One of the problems we have, if we have a problem, with Found Art is an inability to trust the artist who has set himself or herself up as a trickster or a charlatan. We don’t mind being fooled but we don’t want to be told in advance. In this sense, it’s not the object we have the problem with in some tight-arsed philistine sense of “that’s not art.” What unsettles is the thought that the object isn’t the focus of attention and credulity but rather we are. We are feeling the anxiety of what Lacan called…

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