THE STORY OF FOUNTAIN: HARD FACTS AND SOFT SPECULATION

  • Thierry de Duve
Keywords: Readymade, Fountain, Independents, Stieglitz, Sanitary pottery

Abstract

Thierry de Duve’s essay is anchored to the one and perhaps only hard fact that we possess regarding the story of Fountain: its photo in The Blind Man No. 2, triply captioned “Fountain by R. Mutt,” “Photograph by Alfred Stieglitz,” and “THE EXHIBIT REFUSED BY THE INDEPENDENTS,” and the editorial on the facing page, titled “The Richard Mutt Case.” He examines what kind of agency is involved in that triple “by,” and revisits Duchamp’s intentions and motivations when he created the fictitious R. Mutt, manipulated Stieglitz, and set a trap to the Independents. De Duve concludes with an invitation to art historians to abandon the “by” questions (attribution, etc.) and to focus on the “from” questions that arise when Fountain is not seen as a work of art so much as the bearer of the news that the art world has radically changed.

Published
2019-06-21
How to Cite
de Duve, T. (2019). THE STORY OF FOUNTAIN: HARD FACTS AND SOFT SPECULATION. The Nordic Journal of Aesthetics, 28(57-58), 10-47. https://doi.org/10.7146/nja.v28i57-58.114857
Section
Articles