Duchamp questioned the absolutism of art in reproductions. Walter Benjamin wrote a famous essay Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction. Andre Malraux wrote the Voices of Silence : “Not simply one of [Malraux’s] best productions but perhaps one of the really great books of our time.”–Edmund Wilson.
Both Malraux and Duchamp are moving us along into an age of deconstruction into the post metaphysical age, where the sacred status of the artist and the work of art are ridiculed and a certain French Scepticism is coming into play.
See Joseph Beuys’ Bathtub, which he claims he was born in so it does not have quite the same meaning as Duchamp’s urinal.
See Warhol’s Brillo Box and Jasper Johns beer can piece. George Maciunus Flux Kit, which is a direct homage to Duchamp’s boxes. Jean Baudrillard, the Conspiracy of Art. Art is ruptured from its normal environment and dismantling. Heidigger’s theories: zuhandenhert and vorhandenheit of the art object.
Baudrillard did not agree with contemporary art and saw these new art objects whose meaning and existence has been ruptured and placed into a new conceptual space – the gallery – he saw it as a pile of rubbish basically of objects with no meaning and declared that artists were cluttering up space with empty voices.