Unhappy Readymade : Exhibition, 2012
Unhappy Readymade was an interactive exhibition featuring students in the Art Education program presented in the Commons Gallery in the Department of Art and Art Professions. Installed as a collection of prompts or instructions, the exhibition required viewers to enact the requests of participating artists using available materials. The show was inspired by the work of Marcel Duchamp and contemporary artists interested in pedagogical strategies and forums for their work. In 1919 Duchamp created a wedding gift in the form of instructions to be carried out by his sister and new brother-in-law. His gift, titled Unhappy Ready-Made, anticipated a shift in the way we understand the role of the artist. By imagining the artist not only as maker, but simultaneously as catalyst, agitator, or facilitator, a new precedent for the artistic act was established—and with it, new questions about the nature of both making art and teaching art to others. How can art take educational forms? Is teaching itself an artistic act?