“The general consensus is
that one must resist the temptation to urinate in a Duchamp fountain…”
Functional objects communicate usability: blowing a whistle, playing an instrument, smashing that fire alarm, pissing in Duchamps fountain. The Duchampian idea of a Readymade removes this use value and instead projects a high art status on the useable. Unable to perform the object we must admire it from afar, commodities become objects of desire.
A disposable income buys luxury goods. It seems that, the less we can afford them, the more we desire them. Attaining objects of desire requires an exchange: money swaps hands. Fluxus says: "Hey! - coffee cups can be more beautiful than fancy sculptures. A kiss in the morning can be more dramatic than a drama by Mr. Fancypants. The sloshing of my foot in my wet boot sounds more beautiful than fancy organ music.”
Caught somewhere between the desire of the unattainable and finding pleasure in the everyday, there is a harsh realisation that life may just be about surviving: smashing fire alarms and pissing in urinals.