In the beginning, there was a urinal.
In 1917, French artist Marcel Duchamp appropriated an actual urinal, signed it “R. Mutt, 1917” and submitted his “ready made” sculpture to the Society of Independent Artists. The Society was outraged and offended – they refused to include it in their upcoming exhibition.
This little urinal changed the art world by asking the question, “What is Art?”
Marcel Duchamp seems like the perfect artist for Appel Farm. We could have a “Marcel Duchamp” day. All of our departments could take one day to create art inspired by the idea that anything is art and art is everywhere. Duchamp’s work has influenced artists from all disciplines including John Cage (Music), Merce Cunningham (Choreography) and Robert Raushenberg and Jasper Johns (Visual Arts). His work also had an influence on the Theater of the Absurd.
A famous piece of music by John Cage called “4’33”, consists of four minutes and thirty three seconds of silence. Each time this piece is played, it changes depending on what noises can be heard in the background. (I would attach an audio file of it for you to hear, but really, what is the point?)
I was riding my bike in Pennypack Park near where I live this weekend, when I happened upon an elephant, bolted down and cemented to the top of a stone pillar. What do you think? Is this art?