Equivalent Viii

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Why a Pile of Bricks is Art:
A Philosophical Examination of Equivalent VIII by Carl Andre Modern art has so starkly broken off from the millennia of art before it that it has thoroughly bewildered people. Until the late nineteenth century, most art contained intricate details and required innumerable hours of labor, whether the artist is meticulously chipping at a block of marble, carefully stroking paint onto a canvass, or painstakingly writing words on a page. Furthermore, the results was generally made to be pleasing to the viewer. But much of modern art strikes many viewers as not being art at all: It is merely random drips of paint on a canvass, or ordinary objects such as sticks arranged in a simple pattern, or even found objects on
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This is the famous “pile of bricks,” that drew harsh criticism from both the public and art critics. Like much of modern art, Equivalent VIII clearly did not have the level of involvement on the part of the artist that a traditional artwork would generally require. However, Andre is not involved in the creation of his art. He uses only commercial materials for his artwork, so the bricks for Equivalent VIII were mass-produced. Andre did not even arrange the bricks himself – They were arranged by…show more content…
When it was first featured in The Tate Gallery in 1972, it caused a great controversy because taxpayer money had been spent on a very inflated price for a simple collection of bricks. Others mumbled that they could have “made it themselves” and the art museum had been conned. Yet the exhibit still lives on in The Tate Gallery, known as the infamous “pile of bricks,” exemplary of the controversial state of modern art.
What is Art? To determine why modern art qualifies as art, it is necessary to determine what art is exactly. What separates a work of art from being just an ordinary object? Art critic and philosopher Arthur Danto devotes his book The Transfiguration of the Commonplace to answering this question.
Is Art Something in the Object Itself? One possibility is that art is something inherent in the object itself. That is, there is an essence of “art-ness” that is in all artworks, and this distinguishes art from all
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