The Aesthetics of Chance

posted: 11-18-10
Hebert Molderings, book cover
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The Prague Post has a glowing review of Hebert Molderings' new study of the impact of random encounters on Duchamp's artistic production, Duchamp and the Aesthetics of Chance. While the review begins with a salute to the again-ubiquitous urinal, it quickly drills down into the deeper implications of the readymade object. The question, we might ask, is not why a urinal, but why this particular urinal? What grand chain of circumstance and accident leads us to select this particular model of utilitarian porcelain to enshrine in the museum, much less copy again and again for more-or-less limited editions? We know that Duchamp was a librarian, an expert stroller and browser, a formidable humorist. In all these functions, chance plays a role.

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