The Fine Art of Changing the Subject: On Duchamp's 'Fountain'

Episode 33 · November 7th, 2018 · 59 mins 57 secs

About this Episode

In 1917, Marcel Duchamp trolled the New York art scene with Fountain, the famous urinal, whose significance has since swelled in the minds of art aficionados to become the prototype of all modern art. The conversation as to whether or not Fountain fulfills the conditions of a genuine work of art has been going on ever since. In this episode, JF and Phil weigh in with their own ideas, not just about what art is, but more importantly, about what art -- and only art -- can do. The result is a no-holds-barred assault on the very idea of conceptual art, a j'accuse aimed squarely at Duchamp and anyone else who would make the arts as scrutable, and as trivial, as the latest political attack ad or home insurance jingle.


J. S. Bach, The Well-Tempered Clavier
Roger Scruton, The Face of God
Philip Larkin, All What Jazz
Daniel Clowes, Art School Confidential
Banksy, Girl with Balloon
Bill Hicks, stand-up bit on marketers
Walter Benjamin, “Theses on the Philosophy of History” and Paul Klee, Angelus Novus
Arthur Danto, “The Art World”
Andy Warhol, Brillo Boxes
JF Martel, Reclaiming Art in the Age of Artifice
Cornelius Cardew, “Stockhausen Serves Imperialism”
John Roderick, “Punk Rock is Bullshit”
Susan McClary, foreword to William Cheng, Just Vibrations
Deleuze, "What is the Creative Act?"
Benjamin, "The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction"
Biggie Smalls, "Ready to Die"
Cave paintings at Chauvet
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Nobel lecture
Jonathan Glazer, Under the Skin