Conceptual art was born
On April 3, 2017 the art-world experienced a remarkable centennial. That day it was one hundred years ago that the French artist Marcel Duchamp presented his controversial urinal as a work of art at an exhibition in New York. It proved to be a milestone in the history of art. Duchamp wanted to make a statement and succeeded. Forty days later the urinal disappeared. It was probably put on the pavement of Fifth Avenue to be picked up by the night-man as garbage. That is exactly where it belonged. But Duchamp made a replica and that icon marks a watershed in the appreciation of art. Conceptual art was born and it became a permit for artists to fool around and come up with ridiculous works of art.
In The Netherlands the artist Wim T. Schippers emptied a bottle of lemonade in the sea and declared it ‘art’. Later he covered a floor in a prestigious museum with peanut butter: art! In 1999 Tracy Emin from the Uk won the Turner Prize with ‘My bed’. One morning she stepped out of bed, was obviously not in the mood to make up her bed, left it like that with all the mess around it, and declared it conceptual art. She was awarded with 40.000 English Pounds for this act of laziness. I will get into te mockery of the Tuner Prize in a future blog, because this prize is the proof of modern madness in the world of art.
Fight the hypocrisy, join the movement
It is beyond me how sensible people are willing to fall into the trap of these swindlers. In my former blogs I explained how it works: self-appointed ‘experts’ claim the exclusive wisdom of what is art, and nobody dares to challenge them. THE MOVEMENT will pick up the glove and fight the hypocrisy. In the first placed THE MOVEMENT needs a name, a title, expressing the purpose of our intention. If you have a suggestion, please let me know. In the second place we need a battle plan. I intend to compile a black book with the most notorious and scandalous art-expressions since Duchamp saddles us up with this washout. And therefore I need your input. Forward me the art-works that annoyed you, preferably with the name of the work, the name of the artist and – if possible- the curator(s) who were responsible for this pain in the eye. I will assemble your entries and publish this book, which will hopefully open the eyes of everybody who loves art, but despises the extremities, which are a disgrace in the world of contemporary art. Be brave, don’t howl with the wolves in the bush, but come forward with your opinion. It will be gratefully appreciated.
Become a member of THE MOVEMENT, express you anger and shoulder-to-shoulder we will demolish the bastion of the art-elite who looks down upon us as morons, because we do not agree with their foolishness. You can send your contribution to my private email address: fhjvanderbeek(at)gmail.com and I will add you to the army of protesters against the derailment in the international art-world, which started with the practical joke of Duchamp, proving that the development in conceptual art is drowning in a muddy swamp. I want to thank you in advance for your contribution and you will find out in due time how you will be rewarded for your courage.
Picture: My Bed by Tracey Emin. Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=11854210
C B OMalley
25. April 2018
Just reading this blog today and was very intrigued by the virulent response you all have to conceptual art. As an artist, art and art history educator I want to remind you why Duchamp was a pivotal artist , he challenged all artists and procurers of art to consider what they do and why they do it. In Historical context it was epic. Yet I agree that conceptual art has taken a steep downhill dive since then, but as in all genres of art making there is good conceptual art and there is bad, really bad conceptual work. Ridding the world of conceptual art will be difficult and probably not reasonable ,but a healthy challenge is important at this point. So how is this accomplished and how to move forward?
I am not sure what you all mean when you say "real artists"? I recommend the discussion starts there, "what is a real artist?"
Laura D Perez Ferrandiz
06. January 2018
I agree totally, Art evoking something we can argue that art evokes beauty or angst... but then why do we call it art? .... it is just angst... something ugly that evokes sad and ugly feelings.
24. September 2017
Hi all there. when I read the first lines of Christiane I was so happy- finally someone who sees things like I do and wha tmy art is expressing- I never liked this conceptual art- beside tha tsometimes it puts you in a state of disgust and heaviness instead of uplifting you, it is art that is coming from the mind- that is not art to me- art has to come like Christiane said from a much vaster place than that. If you have a concept wirte a book. The art market for me is like the story with the king that got those cloths that noone could see bcs. they were simply not there but noone dared to say it- so I am happy you dare to say it.Art should make my heart sing, give something that is deep not all this shallow stuff tha tcomes from a place that does not really represent the universal truth to me. and tha tyou can find only within . I understand that artists want to do something new and different bcs.. we have inside us this evolutionary drive but this way pulls us back instead of forward. Sometimes I think it is a side tha tlikes to make people stupid and there is a lot of manipulation in the art market like in economy and everywhere but it teaches us to stay firmer in our discernment and stand for what we feel inside is truth and helpful to humanity.
19. September 2017
So glad to have found your article - if you ever read my husband/artist/teacher Max Shertz statement on his website maxshertz.com and my blog theshertzgalleryblog.com he despised the art market decades ago. I always hated Duchamp and what he represented. Also I am not only disgusted by what is shown in galleries and museums, etc., but certainly ART IS NEVER CONCEPTUAL because one's creations come from within - not from the outside. It also has nothing to do with imagination. Most so called artists have imagination - but to create Art, or to create wonderful music, or a wonderful poem - it comes from your inner self, and is truly spiritual in nature, because if it is not even of the mind - our mind is truly too screwed up to create - we use the mind - but our creations come through us and are translated on the paper, canvas, etc. with the imprint of the artist, which is unique, like our fingerprint is unique. I do hope that the MOVEMENT you are talking about it is taking form. I am in contact to a few very talented and honest artists (I mean the ones that don't compromise or give in) and they are in despair. What is called Art and has been called Art for so long is a LIE. We have to come back to what is true - because what is true art will stand the test of time - the rest will disappear like Duchamp Urinal.
12. September 2017
''The problem is that we didn't moved on after them''.
Good comment, I totally agree with you. It has been pushed and promoted for too long now. I also have the feeling that as a consequence, conceptualism has now problems to find 'true meaning'. Many concepts are superficial and in their way commercial, trying to play the high-end market in a calculated way.
11. September 2017
I don't think that conceptualism is such a shame, Duchamp and others had their right reasons to do what they did.
The problem is that we didn't moved on after them, as you said there are a lot of 'self appointed' experts, I blame art critics cause most of them are just lazy people without the balls to face the reality of what is and what is not art.
They're not able to do draw, paint or sculpt etc, so they try to influence others to do what they are not able to do, I've seen some good artist, also someone who's better than me, following the 'suggestions' of these critics instead of working honestly on their -more valuable, maybe not economically- project.
We're stuck on conceptualism, so we have people like tracey emin, Jeff koons (damn! that's not art at all), and the current marina abramovich...
04. September 2017
Thank you for your comment. You add some interesting nuance to it.
11. August 2017
There are swindlers and then some who do have talent and a real human/political agenda as well. More often than I would like to admit messages are self centred what I call "instaglorificationised" the social media new addiction. Visual Arts have been so used and abused that we are in title on both sides , the art creators and admirers to be feeling disenchanted. Perhaps if curators were not obsessed with their own agenda such as: plugging their lovers, friends, families first and more educated visually from prehistoric to modern times they would have a clue and understanding. What I like abut art is when it withstand time in significance so looking at the portrait of Madame of whatever from nowhere in particular in the 17th Century has just as much as no cultural meaning to me as a repulsive bed with garbage surrounding it.
26. June 2017
Thank you Virginia for your valuable contribution. Interesting to read it from your position as a curator. Also your explanation of the connection to the money/control game played by the elites. I also agree with you.
It seems to me that the price/value dynamics behind contemporary art have completely lost reality. The are bubble-based an lack real fundamentals.
26. June 2017
Thank you for writing this!
It's not a very popular opinion, actually quite frowned upon, and I'm glad to see that I'm not alone about this topic!
Conceptual Art currently represents an easy gateway for the world's elites young generations who want to become artists, intended as social position, a status that entails/allows certain behaviors and privileges. Those alleged "artists" have no skills and that's why they turn ready made objects or "performances" lacking any meaning or interest into "conceptual artworks." But they do have a lot of connections and money, which is really what you need to make it in the contemporary art world.
There are so many great artists and creators out there that are not given voice because they don't come from a high pedigree.
Anyway, I agree with everything said in the post and the above was just a little contribution.
Independent art curator
24. June 2017
Likewise we find it nice to connect with people that think like this so Feel welcome here, you are definitely not alone.
Would love to receive the copies you mention :)
Dijana Iva Sesartic
24. June 2017
It's nice to see that there are still people in the world who are struggling and thinking like me, thanking you for every effort, and if I can send you some weird copies of the curia elitism that glorifies untold and obscure art.
Greetings from Croatia