Toilets in Modern Art

Written by Angelique van Engelen

Travelers tend to frequently takerepparttar cleanliness of toilets as indicative of how civilised a country might be. Modern artists pretty much dorepparttar 135912 same thing. Defining a "threshold of civilization" by means of a toilet pot is however by no means simple. Neither is it likely to lead to a conclusive, once and for all outcome. Onrepparttar 135913 contrary. When we are faced with a toilet pot asrepparttar 135914 focal point for debate, arguments rich of historic content emerge. Arguments that we realise we digested somehow only as and when we enter intorepparttar 135915 debate. The first toilet to make its way intorepparttar 135916 art world was pushed to its rightful place by means of a trick, which is, if you think about it,repparttar 135917 only way to do it. Toilets are embarrassing, not shocking. If an artist manages to outshockrepparttar 135918 embarrassment he’s likely succeeded in gettingrepparttar 135919 specator torepparttar 135920 point where he is transferring his emotions torepparttar 135921 spectator’s mind, not merely associations of excrement. The spectator would never make this adjustment if he wasn’t somehow confronted however. So in 1917, Marcel Duchamp, stagemanaged a necessary coup both onrepparttar 135922 public andrepparttar 135923 art world itself when he, underrepparttar 135924 pseudonym "Richard Mutt", purchased a porcelyn urinal, scribbled, or rather ‘splashed’repparttar 135925 pseudonym on it, placed it on a pedestal and entered it as a sculpture in an exhibition organized byrepparttar 135926 New York Society of Independent Artists. The piece was rejected byrepparttar 135927 jury without discussion as ‘no work of art by any definition’. It took a few decades, but this act was eventually confirmed asrepparttar 135928 birth of concept art, even thoughrepparttar 135929 artist might have never meant anything more than to show what art had become. He resigned himself to doing nothing. Many of his ‘ready made’ art objects have been stolen or destroyed and resistence in society to anything Duchamp was seizeably big. It was only untilrepparttar 135930 1960s -sincerepparttar 135931 rise ofrepparttar 135932 Concept Art movement- thatrepparttar 135933 concept of ready made art became an accepted art form. Inrepparttar 135934 magazine ‘The Blind Man’, Duchamp defended his toilet onrepparttar 135935 basis of him chosing an ordinary article of life, and placing it so that its useful significance disappeared under a new title and point of view. Creating a new thought for that object made it into art. “Whether Mr. Mutt with his own hands maderepparttar 135936 fountain or not has no importance. He chose,” Duchamp argued. At this present dayrepparttar 135937 debate has evolved some more and now there’s regular debate about whether art is actually not so valid if it doesn’t boast at least some degree of placid vulgarity. The Russians Ilya and Emilia Kabakov might offer some ideas. These two Russians arerepparttar 135938 undoubted king and queen of out-of-all-proportion installation art that deals withrepparttar 135939 bleak side of Russian everyday life. Many of their works are represented inrepparttar 135940 collections of many ofrepparttar 135941 world's major museums. In 1992, they too created a toilet work. ‘The Toilet inrepparttar 135942 Corner’ is an exact replica of a Soviet toilet provincial style for an exhibition in Germany’s Kassel, named Documenta. The massive installation was built outsiderepparttar 135943 exhibition building inrepparttar 135944 German city just like they would have been in provincial Soviet Russia. The toilet marked an important point inrepparttar 135945 Kabakovs’ careers, who had lived outside Russia for a number of years when they maderepparttar 135946 toilet installation.

The Fabulous Fifties

Written by Vicki Clark

The Fabulous Fifties By Vicki Clark ©2005

Byrepparttar timerepparttar 135745 Korean War ended, in 1953, fifty thousand Americans had returned home in coffins. Withrepparttar 135746 end ofrepparttar 135747 War came President Eisenhower's promise of a bright future forrepparttar 135748 United States. It wasrepparttar 135749 beginning of an economic boom unlike any inrepparttar 135750 history ofrepparttar 135751 Country. Forrepparttar 135752 first time sincerepparttar 135753 Great Depression of 1929 America was not in crisis. Duringrepparttar 135754 latter part of 1953 mass consumerism was onrepparttar 135755 rise and money was inrepparttar 135756 bank. Americans moved up torepparttar 135757 "middle class" atrepparttar 135758 rate of one million a year and real wages were rising at an unprecedented 4.5% yearly. It was a time of conformity when men, dressed in gray flannel suits and white shirts, went to their white-collar jobs and women keptrepparttar 135759 home fires burning in their pastel, "cookie cutter" houses of America's new suburbia. Life centered aroundrepparttar 135760 stability of home and family and 97% of marriageable men and women were married, it was a couples society and they were all having children,repparttar 135761 baby boom was in full swing.. Americans began their love affair with TV duringrepparttar 135762 early part ofrepparttar 135763 decade and byrepparttar 135764 mid 50s 3/4 of them owned a television set and spent 1/3 of their waking hours watching I Love Lucy, The Honeymooners, Jack Benny, Queen for A Day, What's My Line, Ed Sullivan and American Bandstand. Consumerism flourished as television ads convinced viewers ofrepparttar 135765 need to keep up withrepparttar 135766 "Jones'" by owningrepparttar 135767 latest gadgets and goods. For Black citizens, inrepparttar 135768 midst of this new American prosperity, life remained unchanged but change was inrepparttar 135769 air. The 1954 United States Supreme Court decision in Brown v.repparttar 135770 Board of Education was amongrepparttar 135771 most significant turning points inrepparttar 135772 development of our country. It dismantledrepparttar 135773 legal basis for racial segregation in schools and other public facilities by declaring thatrepparttar 135774 discriminatory nature of racial segregation ... "violatesrepparttar 135775 14th amendment torepparttar 135776 U.S. Constitution, which guarantees all citizens equal protection ofrepparttar 135777 laws," The southern states resisted integration. On December 1, 1955 Rosa Parks, weary from an exhausting day of work as a seamstress, boarded a bus in Montgomery, Alabama. She sat inrepparttar 135778 black section atrepparttar 135779 back ofrepparttar 135780 bus but whenrepparttar 135781 white seats had filled she was told to give up her seat to a white man. Rosa Parks refused and in so doing becamerepparttar 135782 first prominent figure of what becamerepparttar 135783 Movement. The twenty-six year old minister, Martin Luther King, Jr. ledrepparttar 135784 black citizens in a non-violent boycott ofrepparttar 135785 Montgomery buses. Duringrepparttar 135786 boycott white extremists bombed Kings home. The boycott continued for 381 days until, in 1956,repparttar 135787 Federal Supreme ruled to desegregaterepparttar 135788 buses. In 1957 President Eisenhower sent inrepparttar 135789 101st Airborne to accompanyrepparttar 135790 Arkansas Nine to classes at Central High in Little Rock. Three weeks earlierrepparttar 135791 black students were prevented by white students, teachers and parents from enteringrepparttar 135792 school in spite ofrepparttar 135793 Brown v. The Board of Education ruling.

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