Tag Archives: James Wines

James Wines/SITE on everyone else..

On Duchamp:

“Duchamp chose commonplace objects as the raw material for his art because they did not have to be invented and, therefore, could be accepted by the viewer as devoid of artistic intent… Duchamp used objects to create noncompositions. His work was never meant to be admired within a traditional aesthetic context. Rather, his objects function as semaphores of information that change the spectator’s attitude toward the role of art in its environment, usually a gallery or a museum. Putting Duchamp’s uncrafted interventions in exhibition spaces that traditionally were the setting for viewing “crafted art” forced the audience to re-evaluate their thinking on every level. His work was a provocative discourse on the nature of meaning, one that simultaneously challenged questions and answers. As Duchamp himself described this research: “I have forced myself to contradict myself in order to avoid conforming to my own taste.”

Although other arts in this century were powerfully influenced by Duchamp’s message, architecture has been left virtually unaffected by the notion of art as principally a dialogue in the mind. Buildings are seen by their designers as exclusively physical intrusions in the landscape that are to be appreciated only for their formal content, their compositional and functional quality, and their evidence of rational thought processes. Until architects are able to see the product of their efforts as a collection and transmission of contextual information, an embodiment of discourse, and a distillation of psychological insight, the gulf between the profession and the public will remain.”

On Gordon Matta-Clark:

“Matta-Clark’s art seized upon the paradoxical relationship between the American dream of progress and the wilful destruction that accompanies it. Buildings are demolished for only one reason: to prepare for a more profitable replacement. Since a number of Matta-Clark’s manipulated buildings were destined to be removed, his projects became a kind of preservation by demolition.”

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