This thesis is a study about the work of Jean Tinguely (1925-1991) through the concept of Marcel Duchamp’s Ready-made and the technique of ‘appropriation’ deduced from the concept. Tinguely, who began his kinetic sculpting since 1955, produced numerous works, as he worked on several sculptures displayed in public, such as many performance events and fountains, and participating in the construction of performing stages and carnivals. However, it is somewhat difficult to explain the complex nature of his artworks by conventionally approaching them through Kinetic art or Nouveau Realism. That is why this author is trying to define his work by investigating the relationship of Tinguely and Duchamp. The Duchamp’s inclination toward Dada and Ready-made, which changed the trend of the art history in the 20thCentury, coincided with Tinguely’s anarchistic thinking, thereby influencing the overall work-idea of Tinguely as well as the themes of his artworks. Tringuely openly admitted how his work had been influenced by Duchamp, and their continued exchanges attested to the fact.
Since the Second World War, many artists took the notice of the readymade works by Duchamp thirty years earlier, and embraced his concept to reflect the era. Duchamp’s indifferent use of everyday products made it possible for them to utilize the technique of appropriation. Tinguely also adapted it as a possibility to grope for a new relationship between the life and art, so he was able to represent a subversive and paradoxical attitude in his work. In addition to this, the objects of his efforts to borrow from Duchamp’s technique of appropriation are largely divided into five, and they were existing art products, immaterial elements, the real time and existing space, and the role of audience. His acts of borrowing approached the works by the artists of the era and their concepts with parodies and pastiches, and thus the transient relationship between the artist and his or her work made it possible to insert immaterial elements found in daily life.
As a result, he was able to accommodate a dimension different from the concept of time dimension, where the logical causal relationship exists, or to put it simply, the real time which makes up our daily life as a sort of the readymade element. He also applied the traces of daily life into the realm of space, so his work is related to the physical, cultural, economical, and historical context of a specific place. Accordingly, the borrowed elements brought the participation of the audience, so he threw fresh light on it. One can, so to speak,find in his work that the audience is being appropriated as the utmostlimit of the ready-made concept which is useful on its own right. To Tinguely, the concept of readymade-ism was a part of the art history, and was a direct comment about life. The attempt was his way to realistically reflect the life to accommodate all the existing context of the artist, his work and the audience as the innermost element of the work. In other words, his work was "readymade-ism", that is, he did not stop at borrowing objects found in daily life, but his work went further by directing commenting on readymade-ism itself and including the before and after of the trend in totality.
In this manner, Tinguely found new aesthetics of appropriation from the concept of Ready-made, which was proposed by Duchamp to deny the existing social and aesthetic values. Through it, he showed the close relationship between artworks and conditions set by the time and place of their creation, while revealing the falsehood of the image of artist as the autonomous principal and the concept of work as the subjective expression. This thesis, which came about in this context, discovers the expansion of the concept where, to Tinguely, "Ready-made"is a metaphor for freedom which overcame the existing orders or customized values and restored the relationship between art and life. This study is special because it provides a different interpretation of the work of Jean Tinguely by analyzing his work, which was materialized in various types of media, through using the concept of Duchamp’s Ready-made, that is, the technique ofappropriation to be more exact.