Saâdane Afif: The Fountain Archives at mfc-michèle didier
at mfc-michèle didier
Sep 11, 2015 - Jan 1, 2017
Fountain, the most controversial artwork in modern art history, didn’t exist for a very long time. Rejected at the Salon des artistes indépendants in 1917, it disappeared the same year, after being shown during a short time at Alfred Stieglitz’ gallery. In fact, the original artwork has become famous thanks to the photographic reproduction Alfred Stieglitz made before its disappearance. It’s this same image that was used to make the replicas* under Marcel Duchamp’s supervision, in 1964.
“No one has ever looked at art. Make artworks that are supposed to be directly reproduced into magazines. As far as we know artworks thanks to their reproductions, we should only conceive artworks for reproduction. Remove the intermediaries in art.”**
This « reminder » formulated by John Baldessari appears to be absolutely pertinent in regards to the posterity of Marcel Duchamp urinal, which, despite its disappearance, has still become one of art history most important masterworks.
It is not by chance that in 2008 Saâdane Afif decided to make Fountain the object of a very special collection – a collection of all the publications in which the famous ready-made has been reproduced.
The Fountain Archives consist thus of a multitude of torn pages on which appears the reproduction of Fountain, each framed individually. Because of the repetition of this motive, the complete series becomes a new artwork on its own, of a contemporary view on how art history and myths of art are created.