Sorry Duchamp, this is clearly just a urinal. Despite numerous critics claiming the inspiring nature of its ceramic gleam, I fail to see past the actual value of this object.
I may be coming on strong, but believe it or not I've seen this piece of nonsense in the flesh (or at least the replica of the now-destroyed original. Duchamp probably did that himself too, the filthy attention-seeker.) And no, if you look carefully through those holes at the back, it doesn't get any more interesting. The only mildly amusing aspect of my visit to this glorified piss bucket was observing GSCE students wandering with false curiously around the piece saying “You know Prudence, I’m beginning to fully comprehend the influence Duchamp had over the Fluxus movement.”
And no, if you look carefully through those holes at the back, it doesn't get any more interesting.
Perhaps I'm missing something here. Half-bothered, I google 'R. Mutt 1917’ only to discover that Duchamp changed the word Mott from J.L Mott Iron Works, manufacturer of the urinal, to Mutt, simply to make it more ambiguous. In his bid to appear abstract, both Duchamp and the overrated potty seem to have been a waste of time. Don't believe me? Check out Duchamp's 'Bicycle Wheel’, another of his famous readymade pieces - which to you and me means that he assembles objects that have already been constructed (hence the term readymade). It's hardly my definition of artistic. Save from the uncharacteristic cleanliness of the urinal, I fail to see any redeemable aspects; it most probably would have served a greater purpose in a dingy Wetherspoons restroom. Ouch.
It's hardly my definition of artistic.