In my last post about Diogenes the question was raised: is stealing, embalming and displaying a dead tramp art? Tilda Swinton in a glass case, a video of David Beckham asleep, sound installation, performance art, embalmed sharks, embroidered tents and unmade beds, modern artists have repeatedly challenged what it is that can be regarded as art. What counts as art? How do we judge its value? Who is in a position to tell us what is good? These are among the vexed questions of aesthetics.
An exhibition opened in London this weekend featuring fifty artists showing work under the title What Marcel Duchamp taught me.*
Marcel Duchamp was a chess player who also turned his hand to cigar smoking. As a young man, between 1913 and 1917, he invented conceptual art and is regarded as the most influential artist of the twentieth century. However if art was for him a diversion, chess was a lifelong preoccupation.