Monday, July 20, 2009
Is it really art?
Joseph Beuys' Rhine Water Polluted (1981).
Beuys' piece can be taken as a paradigm in the -still ongoing- discussion of "what is" and "what is not" art. With this in mind, miami bourbaki has elaborated a brief questionnaire to bring forth taste, economy, authority, etc, to examine how Rhine Water Polluted may affects notions of justification and validity in art.
1.Do you consider Rhine Water Polluted art? If not, why not?
2.Can Rhine Water Polluted be called "beautiful"?
3.Does it matter if you knew the actual content of the bottle is 1-piss, 2-orange soda, 3-toxic waste, 4-colored water?
4.Is it liking -or disliking- the artwork what prompts your judgment? Could Rhine Water Polluted grow on you? (say, in the event you know more about Beuys' life, work, etc?).
5.Would you change your mind if you knew that the artwork commands a high price?
6.Would you buy Rhine Water Polluted if it was a good investment?
7.Once in your possession (and in the event you dislike it), would you still show it to your friends as a valuable commodity?
8. Do you find Rhine Water Polluted humorous, trite, dramatic?
9. Would it make a difference if (instead of a ready-made) the piece (bottle and cap in this case) was made-from-scratch by the artist?
10. If people come to a consensus about Rhine Water Polluted being definitely art, would it make it art?