It is what it is. Or is it?
Marcel Duchamp’s readymades are an unmistakably radical gesture in the history of modern art. First produced in 1913, the readymades were, for the artist, “a form of denying the possibility of defining art.” Today, the readymade—as both an object and as an idea—has been so integrated into artistic strategy and discourse that the idea is a readymade itself. It is what it is. Or is it? attempts to recuperate a sense of the radicality of Duchamp’s gesture and to update dialogues around the notion of the readymade, thinking of them less as static objects than as active processes of articulating thought. Artists today use the simple materiality and economy of means conveyed by the form to address a diversity of social, political, aesthetic, and temporal issues. It is what it is. Or is it? is organized by Dean Daderko, Curator at CAMH, and marks his curatorial debut at the Museum.