Merci Marcel – By @aleks_atn

By Aleksandra Atanasovsk


Merci Marcel.

Ever since secondary school I knew I wanted to study art. Drawing classes were the only time my teachers could expect me in. Art, Gymnastics and singing lessons were the only things I had any interest in. My mum spent all her time acting as transport. (Thanks mum).

Art was the reason I decided in high school to pursue a course in French literature. It came with an option of 8 hours per week of fine arts. Every week there was a different art project to complete. It was freedom. We were doing what we wanted. So free that it became frustrating.

That’s when my art teacher introduced us to Marcel.

Marcel Duchamp.

The artist who revolutionised contemporary art. The man who proved to the world that art had no limit, that a simple urinal could exist by itself in a museum. It didn’t belong inside a bathroom, but in a museum!

His work radically changed the art of the 20th century. He was the first to spend his time questioning art, to test its limits, to finally admit that his real piece of work was his life itself. He was the first to assert that it’s the viewer (voyeur) who creates a piece of art and not the artist.

And that’s what I love most of all, his desire to involve the public in his work. To engage them. To give them a responsibility. This can be seen in his work titled: “Étant donnés”. Through a simple door with two holes to slip his eyes and observe the scene behind it, we see a naked woman, lying down, and immediately the spectator is trapped in his real act of voyeur. Without the eyes of the spectator, the work does not exist, the scene and the mystery can not take place.

This artist remains for me a reference to never forget, an innovator, a man who charms by his provocation, his lateral thinking. His way of questioning was – is – art. He knew how to see things in a different way, and I know I’m going to keep him as a source of inspiration in my work.

Merci Marcel.

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