Section 1 (c); 1

12 Marks

(a)   “Over time the postmodern artist has attempted to confront their audience through provocative work that frequently sets out to evoke a variety of reactions”.

Discuss this statement making reference to Plates 4, 5 and the extract of text.

Plate 4

Julie Rrap
Overstepping, 2001

digital print, 120 × 120cm
Edition of 15, Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery

Plate 5

Marcel Duchamp

Fountain, 1917/ 1964

Ceramic, The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Israel

Vera and Arturo Schwarz Collection of Dada and Surrealist Art,

The Bridgeman Art Library


A urinal displaced and called art, this Readymade has caused much controversy ever since the fateful day in 1917 when it was refused entry to an art show priding itself as being open to all. Rotated and signed with the pseudonym “R. Mutt 1917” on its upper side, Fountain isn’t merely one of Duchamp’s Readymades. It has become a recognisable icon in the history of modern art.

Extract– Sourced from:



  1. Clare said,

    The primary aim of postmodern artists is to challenge mainstream audiences. This can be done through a variety of ways such as appropriating or recontextualising something. By doing this the artist confronts their audience and makes them question what art really is. Julie Rrap in her artwork ‘Overstepping’ (2001) and Marcel Duchamp in ‘Fountain’ (1917/1964) has managed to do just this.

    Julie Rrap has used digital media to create an image of human nature and consumerism. As an audience, we know that this image is not real and therefore are fascinated through the unique interpretation of this. It has successfully managed to capture a variety of reactions as it is challenging mainstream ideas and values. The new form of digital media interests the viewer and confronts them in a way that they are not used to. The manipulation of the image tricks the viewer because they know that this is not real. This digital print is provocative and is a highly contemporary artwork that is unique and unusual to the general public.

    In the same way, Marcel Duchamp has exasperated the art world through his confronting artwork ‘Fountain’. By attempting to place a urinal into an art show, he significantly shocked art critics at the time and really tried to impose the question of what is art? By recontextualising a readymade common item and calling it art, he evoked a variety of reactions, but more puzzled the audience. “It has now become a recognisable icon in the history of modern art.”

    Julie Rrap’s ‘Overstepping’ and Marcel Duchamp’s ‘Fountain’ has significantly and successfully confronted their audience through provocative work that sets out to evoke a variety of reactions. In doing this both the art world and the general public have questioned what art really is. They have both taken a contemporary approach in their art making and hence challenged their traditional audience.

  2. Lauren Sillato said,

    “Over time the postmodern artist has attempted to confront their audience through provocative work that frequently sets out to evoke a variety of reactions”.
    Discuss this statement making reference to Plates 4, 5 and the extract of text.

    Overtime all forms of art have brought controversy to the world but Postmodern artists often seek a shocking response from their audience by re contextualizing, bringing new contemporary and challenging ideals into their works. As the modern era has progressed we have seen various artists use Post Modernism to shock and evoke emotions from their audience through evolving media such as land Art, mixed Media, sound scape, video Instillations, photography etc. Postmodernist artist also convey their art with a sense of wit, parody and irony giving a new sense to art, this is often done throughout appropriation of previous artworks.

    Various movements such as Dadaism have evolved to provoke and shock it’s audience and much like other postmodern works are used to question the meaning of art. Dadaist, Marcel Duchamp’s ‘Fountain’ (1964) is a classic example of a postmodern work that is used to confront and evoke an emotional response from its audience. Causing a great deal of controversy the readymade Urinal was intentionally displayed as art to evoke and challenge its audience, raising the question of what is art?

    Other post modern works such as Julie Raps ‘Overstepping’ (2001) have used means of Postmodern technology and digital media to achieve their artwork and convey a certain message through this use of technology. ‘Overstepping’ consists of a woman’s bare legs and the abstract ideals that the woman’s feet alone are a pair of heals. This contemporary piece brings forth the postmodern aims to convey art in a more realistic sense by using technology to achieve such an appearance.

    Through the use of modern technology both works have taken art to a new level, by challenging the traditional means of art and raising questions of high and low art, thus seeking an emotional response from its audience.

  3. Anna said,

    Postmodern artists are limitless with their art in a way that allows them to create endless possibilities of contemporary works that may be challenging and compulsive. As seen in plate four, the technique of appropriation is used to criticise the stereotype about women and their bodies. ARTISTS NAME has taken a photograph of a woman’s feet and transformed the heels, with new and contemporary technology, into an object of high heel shoes. This witty appropriation challenges and breaks the bounds of traditions about normal conventions of subject matter, because the artwork has been realistically transformed to appear abnormal and also because it asks questions about the female figure, which is confronting. Messages being conveyed, that challenge the notions of art, are the objectification of women as products but also the materialistic value of objects to women, these meanings represented in Plate four generate ideas about stereotypes and gender.

    Plate four’s use of new and thought-provoking concepts, stimulates a contrast of shocked but also enthused reactions from audiences. To art historians, art critics and art viewers this artwork may produce disapproval about the artwork’s limitations, and it’s use of appropriation. The method of using advanced computer technology could be surprising to some audiences of the art world, especially older viewers, but could inspire and motivate other artists, especially young and/or postmodern artists, to expand their creativity.

    Plate five by Marcel Duchamp is an innovative and provocative artwork, which shares similarities with Plate four in the way it expresses wit and concepts about society. Duchamp has also used the Postmodernist technique of appropriation to reveal the heavy judgements upon art. He has appropriated a urinal by writing a (different) name on the bottom; this technique allows audiences to question, is this art? Marcel uses the kitsch urinal as a symbol of the waste to show critics and detractors how they may not see the true worth art. Plate five also asks who can assess art, because in Postmodernism there are no limits to art and thus how can someone criticise an artwork when there are no bounds.

    Plate five is a controversial piece that shares parallels to Plate Four because it evokes a variety of reactions from audiences. Critics and people of the art world, such as art historians, could look to plate five as an unappealing and substandard artwork because it is an appropriation of a urinal that has unclean connotations and thus is unacceptable. Similar to Plate Four, audiences could be inspired by Marcel to extend their limitations of art and also their views upon art.

  4. Anna said,

    *ARTISTS NAME = Julie Rrap

    Gahhh miss I didn’t see the the extract when I did it at home, so I haven’t included it in my response 😦

  5. Lauren said,

    Postmodernism refers to a cultural movement characterized by its rejection of rules and conventions, the recontextualization/appropriation of subject matter and its fearless commentary on society through parody and satire. According to the statement, the postmodern artist employs all of these qualities in attempting to confront their audience through work that provokes a range of reactions within viewers. Plate 4, that of Julia Rapp’s ‘Overstepping’ (2001) is a 120×120 cm digital print which depicts an almost grotesque combination of a woman’s feet and her high heels. Achieved via photo manipulation, this clearly conveys the post modernistic exploration of new and innovative techniques to express themselves in an artistic manner. In this digital age, the utilization of computer technology has opened new doors to artists and assisted in creating meaning with unique relevance to a contemporary audience. Here in overstepping there is a clear moral message presented as to the implications of our increasingly superficially motivated society, an attitude that is imposed particularly on females. Subordinated through the ages, women have only recently attained a sense of equality with their male counterparts, but at what cost? Rapp warns against this ‘overstepping’ of the mark, our attempts to impress and excel causing us to fit a mould in which we are forced to value physical beauty and cling to our independence.
    Marcel Duchamp’s ‘Fountain’ (1917/1964) as depicted in plate 5 is equally post modernistic in its attempt to test the boundaries of artistic mediums and subject matters. As emphasized by the extract, ‘Fountain’ is merely a ‘urinal displaced and called art’ yet despite its simplicity it provoked a huge uproar from audiences, artists and critics alike. A ceramic ‘readymade’, Duchamp selected a mundane object, modified it slightly (via signature), placed it on a pedestal and labeled the product ‘art’. This created heated debate as to what is to be considered ‘art’ in that it utilized a medium considered highly unorthodox at the time, an ideal many postmodernist artists actively challenged. This blatant disregard for convention and the bitingly satirical humor presented by the fountain was thus condemned, as related by the extract when ‘it was refused entry to an art show which prided itself as being open to all’. Many Post modernistic artworks have received similar treatment over the years, with their messages and means often hard to accept by conservative critics and art communities whom favored traditional conventions within art. However, Duchamp instilled an ideal still favored amongst Postmodern contemporary artists today, the Fountain-‘a recognizable icon in the history of modern art’ becoming a predecessor to the exploratory attempts of artworks such as ‘Overstepping’ which highlighted the rebellious, the unusual, the conflicting which causes Postmodernism to evoke a wide range of audience responses.

  6. Bree Borg said,

    Post modern works are usually all confronting to their audience and shock the audience so that they can convey a certain message that will stick with them due to the reactions that are obtained.
    In plate 4, Julie Rrap ‘overstepping’, 2001 we can see the postmodern work has attempted to shock the audience and challenge mainstream ideas by appropriated a picture of feet and making the heels joined on the feet. It looks real because it is a photograph so this challenges the audience further due to the fact that it is realistic.

    In plate 5, Marcel Duchamp ‘Fountain’ 1964 has used a urinal in a collection that he had. A urinal is a common everyday object that is seen by more often than not, everyday.
    He has used irony and parody to accuulate the audience reaction. He attemps to shock the audience and critics by making them question what is art?
    The extract further goes to say that Marcel Duchamp has created controversy because his worked was refused entry in the art show.
    ‘It is now a recognizable icon in the history of modern art’ because of the fact that it has caused so much controversy and question as to weather it should be in an art museum or a toilet.

  7. Courtney :) said,

    The overall aim of postmodern artists is to challenge and shock the audience by presenting something completely different to the art world. Julie Rrap’s “Overstepping”, 2001 (Plate 4) and Marcel Duchamp’s “Fountain,” 1917/1964 (Plate 5) are two primary examples of art that were intended to shock and create controversy amongst the audience and throughout the art world.

    “Overstepping” can be questioned as art as Rrap has used simplistic art making practice in order to create this artwork. Rrap has photographed a pair of female feet and used a digital editing computer program to produce high heels incorporated into the heel of the feet. This method may be viewed as too simplistic and aided to be called art, making the audience and art world question whether this digital image is really art or digital/graphic design. Rrap has questioned what the art world and art audience view as art. Through “Overstepping” Rrap has asked whether the art world would value this artwork as highly as an oil painting, marble sculpture or realistic scene depiction. However, as the media of the artwork is a digital print, the audiene is challenged and questioned as to what is real. It is obvious to the educated audience that the high heels have been digitally manipulated, however, the high heels blend with the feet creating a semi abstract and realistic effect (due to the fact that it is a manipulated photograph).

    As conveyed in “Overstepping”, Duchamp’s “Fountain” also conveys a message/ question as to what the art audience value as art. The ready made sculpture of a urinal is a challenge to the consumerist culture of the western world. The subject matter being an unvalued object in the western society, the urinal, questions what really defines an object as precious and useless. Through “Fountain”, Duchamp has turned a unvalued object in western society into a ‘precious art form’, however this was not always the case. “Fountain” was originally rejected by the art world as it caused much controversy because of its simplistic form and the art making practice involved little effort. In 1917, “Fountain” was not classed as art, evident through its rejection from the Salon. It was ordered to be destroyed, however no one knows what actually happened to the artwork as all that remains is a black and white photograph of the original sculpture (as shown in Plate 5). It was not until 1964 when various replicas and reproductions of the ready made sculpture were created that became known as a piece of art. From 1917 onwards “fountain” will always be remembered for the controversey in which it caused throughout the art world, sparking many debates between critics about what the art world considers as art.

    Overall, Duchamp’s “Fountain” and Rrap’s “Overstepping” are two examples of artworks that have ‘attempted to confront their audience through provocative work that frequently sets out to evoke a variety of reactions’. Some of which raising questions such as ‘what is art?’,or ‘what do we truly value in a consumerist society?’ It is postmodern artworks such as these that have shaped the postmodern art world and created a whole new meaning and dimension of art.

  8. Hannah said,

    Postmodern artists aim to continually shock their audiences with their artworks. They want to make their viewer question what art really is and make them think about how art should make them feel. Postmodern artists achieve this through their art making practices, materials, wit, parody and often appropriation. Plates 4 and 5 are examples of how artists have created contemporary artworks to shock and surprise their audience.

    The postmodern artists think about how they can create works that will make their audiences question art and its real value. They try to make a statement and need the viewer’s comments and criticisms for these statements to hold and meaning.

    Postmodern artists create works that they know will get a reaction from their audiences. They challenge the mainstream values and conformities of the art world to create bold pieces that would not usually be consider art.

    Post Modern artists challenge what its audience considers high and low art. Their works make them question what sort of value can be put on art and why an appropriation could not be as valuable as the original idea.

    Plate 4 by Julie Rrap, ‘Overstepping’ (2001) shows a woman’s legs with distorted feet. Rrap has made light of women and how they are always wearing high-heeled shoes; she has done this my distorting the woman’s feet so that her heels look as if they have grown to the shape of a high-heeled shoe. Rrap has parodied women and their love of shoes while confronting her audience with the obvious disfiguration of the feet.

    Another postmodern artist is Marcel Duchamp. As stated by the extract and Plate 5 his piece “Urinal” (1917/1964) has caused conflict ever since it was revealed. Nobody at the time saw this as art as it was simply a urinal with writing on it. Duchamp uses his art making practices, materials and often appropriation, such as when he drew a moustache on the Mona Lisa, to make his audience question the value of art and why the original is so much valuable than an appropriated idea.

    A Postmodern artist creates a work that they know will cause controversy of some sort, it is part of the aim behind their work, without this controversy the statement they are often trying to make is meaningless and their works become just another unusual piece in an exhibition.

  9. Luke S. said,

    Over time the postmodern artist has attempted to confront their audience through provocative work that frequently sets out to evoke a variety of reactions. Plate 4 and 5 display these characteristics fantastically with the peculiar and thought provoking images they display.

    Postmodern artists always attempt with their artworks to make the viewer think about what is being said about the mainstream ideas and views traditionally seen in today’s world. One can see this in plate 4, with the revolutionised female feet. The artist has portrayed the female to have permanent heels on, suggesting that women are strongly seen as a figure of beauty, though in our society today, only with the attachment of these material objects. Thus, the artist is attempting to show the audience her view on the subject and trying to provoke a point of view within the audience.

    Postmodern artists also confront their viewers with the question of whether the work made this art or not. Plate 5 simply shows a plain urinal. Causing much controversy in 1917 when it was refused entry into an ‘open to all’ art show, The rejecters of this readymade were only the first to mark this as an artwork that wasn’t really art. Sparking argument throughout the history of modern art, many low forms of art like this have been arguably debated as being an artwork or not, again confronting the audience with a choice on either accepting the new art form and appreciating its message or completely rejecting both the work and what message it is trying to convey.

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