The initial response to Duchamp's urinoir fountain was ridicule, rejection and negative reviews. It's a frequent initial response to cutting edge work. Whether this reaction defines art or not is another question. Maybe it does.
Let's do Art!
Trouble is, Alain, I think it is still a pot to piss in, no more and no less. I donīt for a moment accept that because the current establishment changed its position from that of the establishment of Duchampīs time and bowed down to the urinal that that is any confirmation of status.
In fact, is is just another example of the Tateīs bricks. (Cutting-edge is often no more than a sobriquet applied to anything that doesnīt really have a lot to recommend it; how many stock libraries use that word to sell common or garden images that are the same as everybody elseīs; words, words, and more words spoken so quickly as to deceive the ear!)
To accept otherwise is to say that anything that the so-called artist says is art is, by definition, art. Iīm not here calling Duchamp the so-called artist, by the way.
Look, we all have access to Jamesīs recent photographs in the M8 thread. Letīs take two of his shots as examples: the one of the girl up against the building is, to me, photographic art; also, the little picture of the two kids sitting might be in the same category of expression. I donīt for a moment say that James makes any claims for the pics - itīs just my easy example. His other shot of the "Heiress" girl does not, for me, get anywhere near being art. It just looks competent photography, commercial, and says nothing else to me at all. I stress again, James has made no claims to anything - his shots are just easy to find on this site.
Have a look at this link and turn to the Sarah Moon production for 1972. I think she is the only one that has shot the calendar that has turned it into a work of art. Some of the others are red hot photographers, some not so much; but the essence of Moon comes through in everything, as it does in all of the published commercial work of hers that I have seen. Another blessed one for whom work and personal are one and the same.