KUAD GALLERY: Unhappy Ready-Made

KUAD GALLERY, presents an exhibition on ready-mades on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of Marcel Duchamp’s two ready-mades: Bicycle Wheel  (1913) and Bottle Rack (1914) with the participation of Gülçin Aksoy, Songül Boyraz, Hera Büyüktaşçıyan, Lydia Dambassina,  Ivan Egelski, Erol Eskici, Şakir Gökçebağ, Hakan Gürsoytrak, Pravdoliub Ivanov,  Serhat Kiraz,  Komet, Murat Morova, Ahmet Öktem, Vahit Tuna, Uygur Yılmaz.

The title of the exhibition refers to a ready-made, realized by Marcel Duchamp in 1919 by sending instructions from Buenos Aires to her sister Suzanne Duchamp and her husband Jean Crotti. In the photograph, which we are publishing with the permission of Philadelphia Museum, a geometry book can bee seen hanging in a balcony; its pages are fluttering in the wind and torn. Duchamp in his interview with Pierre Caban says that the wind should blow on the book, find its own problems, turn and torn the pages. Her sister has drawn a small picture of this book and named this ready-made “The Unhappy Ready-Made of Marcel Duchamp”*

Critical theory has interpreted Marcel Duchamp and his production from different perspectives.

Lyotard initially states that Marcel Duchamp’s work was about seeking and realizing contradiction: but then, under the title ‘complaint’, he contradicts his statement by referring to Duchamp’s pedantic exactitude. Lyotard continues to argue with himself throughout the book. He gradually encircles Duchamp’s fractious sense of buffoonery, as if Duchamp’s work is incessantly saying ‘you won’t get me’. 

Thierry de Duve explains that with the emergence of ready-made a radical shift in the definition of art happened: From Kantian “this is beautiful” to “this is art” (or, ‘this is the idea’). 

For Rancière this shift is not so visible. To his conviction “the incorporation of the ‘low’ into aesthetic production had occurred already in the 19th century, when the aesthetic regime had dismantled the correlation between the dignity of a subject matter and its mode of representation that had been in place before.” Furthermore he asserts, “the subject matter of Duchamp’s Fountain (1917) is not the dignified, beautiful form, but the gesture of showing a banal object as art. “

In Turkey, ready-made entered into the agenda of Late-Modernism through the works of Altan Gürman (end of 1960’s) and through the conceptual and active work of Art Definition Group (end of 1970’s). Şükrü Aysan one of the founders of this group has edited a book entitled “Marcel Duchamp, consisting of translated and original works. Out of 2000 exemplars 500 was numbered and stamped. During 1980’s Serhat Kiraz, Ahmet Öktem, Füsun Onur, Canan Beykal, Selim Birsel, Erdağ Aksel, Gülsün Karamustafa have used ready-mades in their installations.

Today we even dare to ask whether there are art works immune to the requisites of ready-made? Even the paintings are being produced from ready-made photographs. Or we can ask until when should we consider the hegemony of ready-made, which engage our critical thinking on art productions since 100 years?

Today we continue to ask whether the artwork with its high value in the global market can be liberated of its identity as consumption good? What is the future of artwork which 100 years ago has been designated as an element of capitalist system? Yes, we can say that many art works are ready-mades; but at the same time many art works are being produced in despite of ready-mades. Ready-made is an inevitable representation; other kinds of art works are being produced in consciousness of this representation and against this fact.

The exhibition intends to display the retrospective and current works of the artists who have utilized and interpreted ready-made in different contexts and aesthetics.

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