Goodbye To Language Review (London Film Festival 2014)


I remember stumbling across artist Marcel Duchamp’s infamous piece, “Fountain”, in the Liverpool Tate Modern art gallery a few years ago. The sculpture, if you’re audacious enough to label it as such, is simply a urinal tipped on its back. The only indication that this slab of utilitarian porcelain is in fact a piece of art and not a renovation cast-off is Mr. Duchamp’s inconspicuous signature next to the date.

When it was submitted for display in 1917, the traditional art aficionados unsurprisingly balked at the idea that a urinal could constitute art. Duchamp used “Fountain” as a way to illustrate how one can change an object’s meaning by merely changing its context. With that, he broadened the scope of modern art produced over the next 100 years.

But to me, “Fountain” is merely a urinal on a plinth, no different to the ones that collect my urine on a fairly regular basis. To call it ‘art’ is just daft. Only the most ardently pro-avant-garde will uphold Duchamp’s work as a landmark achievement of the form… read the rest of review at Movie Fail.