Like the readymades of Marcel Duchamp are ordinary manufactured objects that the artist selected and modified, as an antidote to what he called “retinal art”. By simply choosing the object (or objects) and repositioning or joining, titling and signing it, the Found object became art.
Duchamp was not interested in what he called retinal art that was only visual and sought other methods of expression. As an antidote to “retinal art” he began creating readymades at a time (1914) when the term was commonly used in the United States to describe manufactured items to distinguish them from handmade goods.
He selected the pieces on the basis of “visual indifference, and the selections reflect his sense of irony, humor and ambiguity: “…it was always the idea that came first, not the visual example,” he said; “…a form of denying the possibility of defining art.