EVEN THOUGH THE READYMADE has often been interpreted as an introduction of reality into artmaking, Marcel Duchamp’s subversive appropriation of useful objects and their subsequent placement in the gallery might better be understood as acts dealing more with the alienation of the real from art. Once the anonymous object has lost the dynamic function it used to have, to become a specific art object with the “aura” that ensures its functioning within an art context, this object, by the artist’s decision, has gone a long way down a dead-end street: Duchamp never used a Rembrandt as an ironing board, though he wanted to, and it is improbable that anyone purchased his Bicycle Wheel, 1913, in order to use it to repair a bike.

Maria Eichhorn’s art practice can be situated within the tradition of the ready-made—with a difference. She has adopted some strategies of appropriation, but at the same

to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.