Some deny that the Fountain is art but believe it is significant for the history of art and aesthetics. Our knowledge of this readymade sculpture and its history is riddled with gaps and extraordinary conflicts of memory, interpretation, and criticisms.
William A. Camfield
I think key to the FOUNTAIN, fountain… project is to exemplify the work 'Fountain' itself – free from the constraints of the author(s), though it is important to credit Marcel Duchamp as the author-cum-custodian. The project seeks to be a journey in three phases: firstly, embracing the nebulous origins, second, plotting its rise within art history/criticism and then thirdly, a visual examination of its significance/relevance now for contemporary practitioners
To celebrate the centenary of the infamous/famous artwork ‘Fountain, 1917’ (a urinal signed R.Mutt – which has been assigned to the seminal conceptual artist Marcel Duchamp) in 2017, Manchester-based artist-curator Mike Chavez-Dawson has developed the Fountain, fountain... project. At its heart, this will be a ground-breaking Artist Moving Image project that will seek to exemplify the work ‘Fountain, 1917-64’ through various collaborations, including an exhibition which will tour numerous North West venues, launching the first phase of the project, before touring in London, New York and Paris.
A Collaborative Artist Moving Image Work
A central aspect of Fountain, fountain... is the Artist Moving Image work, which has collaboration very much at its heart, both at the research stage but also in the development of the final piece. Already the project has brought together a distinguished array of collaborators such as Coventry-based filmmaker Brian Harvey, musician Duke Garwood, sound artist Mark Pilkington, Salford-based filmmaker and animator Paul Wright, artists Martin Hamblin, Doug Fishbone, Sandra Bouguerach and Mishka Henner to name a few.
A Touring Multi-Part Art Project
Building from the Artist Moving Image is the touring show that now involves a growing team and support from numerous galleries, institutions and organisations, including the Arts Council England, Doctor John, Atelier One, Bury Arts Museum, Fountain '17 and Armitage Shanks, amongst many others.
The initial phase of this multi-part project consists of numerous panel discussions alongside the debut of a ‘work-in-progress’: the evolving teaser trailer. The second phase is a full production of the moving-image artwork, a modular/architectural (inflatable) environment in collaboration with Atelier One based on the Milky-Way (also known as the cinematic-blossoming) section from Duchamp’s ‘Large-Glass’ to showcase the work and an accompanying touring exhibition to coincide with the centenary of Duchamp's urinal.
Long-term it is set to be the central part of a touring project at the Bury Art Museum in 2017 to mark the centenary of the historic and now seminal work.