The readymade implied that art history was finished: the artwork
had lost its special status and art history its motivation. As a
result, an ever increasing group of artists has focussed on 'nothing',
irresistably drawn into the black hole at the centre of the ever
narrowing spiral of modernism. Others have started to reproduce
historical styles, as if the procession of progress has run into
a brick wall and now starts to retrace its steps.
Duchamp's æsthetic framework seems sterile. The Bachelor Machine
recites its uselessness in tautological litanies. 'I am here / ,
/ and there is nothing to say / . / ...'
I would like to suggest a different view of art history. One in
which the readymade is not the endpoint but the focus. After this,
the beam of light widens again. The image reappears, though it's
upside down now. Art history hasn't finished, but continues with
other means - the means of science.
So far, the idea of showing everything has only been realized
in a symbolic fashion. But it is worth taking literally, as a technical
challenge: an art which brings about the concrete experience of
everything. All concrete experiences.