In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Jan. 21, 2005 / 11 Shevat, 5765

A Head of His Time: Exploring the commodious nature of art

By Gene Weingarten

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Hundreds of art experts decided in a recent poll that the single most influential work of the 20th century was . . . a urinal. Specifically it was the urinal that French artist Marcel Duchamp submitted to an art exhibition in 1917. It proved to be the pees de resistance.

Ha-ha. Actually, the curators of the show were so appalled they did not even exhibit Duchamp's entry. This touched off a furor in the art world. Like all furors in the art world — art-world furors occur rougly twice a century, often coinciding with disappointing years for chablis — this was about The Meaning of Art. You would think that after 600 years or so, the art world would have figured out The Meaning of Art. Imagine if, in the automotive world, the car companies hadn't yet figured out what a car was. One year, they would turn out blimps, another year, dogsleds, etc. The Indy 500 would be a hoot.

However, the art world is different. It is forever reexamining itself, like a hypochondriac searching for moles. And, in 1917, Duchamp's urinal is said to have relieved (har) art of one of its biggest burdens: the need to produce art.

Essentially, Duchamp's urinal, which he titled "Fountain," signaled the birth of conceptual art. Art was no longer defined so much by the product but by the idea behind the product, even the mere audacity of declaring it to be art.

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If not for Duchamp, we probably would not have had the opportunity to enjoy the art of that guy who sliced a pig in half, or the guy who canned his own poo, or the guy who had himself crucified onto a Volkswagen Beetle. Now, you may think that this has been a bad development, art-wise. I don't. The reason I don't is that it theoretically opens up the entire field of art to people without actual skills — some guy like me, for example, who draws a horse like this (DRAWING OF A HORSE) but who fancies himself Creative.

I decided to pull a Duchamp — create a portfolio of Intriguing Conceptual Art, and submit it to a genuine expert.

Here is my portfolio:

•Build an art museum in the shape of a urinal.

• Build a urinal in the shape of an art museum.

• Exhibit a Venus flytrap that was raised entirely on meat from a pig that had been raised on meat from a bear that was killed after eating a human.

•Turn on an ambulance siren in a small, glass-windowed room. Also in the room are a half-dozen deaf people, who play cards, read books, etc., oblivious to the 120-decibel noise.

•Place hundreds of smiley face buttons, Beanie Babies and My Little Pony products into a coffin.

•Create two locked boxes, each containing the other's key. Then throw them both into the deepest part of the Pacific Ocean.

•Obtain an enormous observatory telescope, capable of distinguishing 5-foot-wide craters on Mars. Then position it so it is permanently focused on the "woman" symbol on a bathroom door in the museum.

•Build a realistic, Old-West-style scaffold from which you hang — with its head through the noose — a giant Tootsie Roll Pop.

• Stuff a punching bag with $30,000 Faberge eggs, and hang it from the gallery ceiling at eye level. Before viewers are permitted to look at it, they must put on boxing gloves.

•Exhibit a TV set that is continuously playing some of the greatest dramas in history: Olivier's "Hamlet," "Schindler's List," "Casablanca," etc. Overlaid on each, however, is a laugh track lifted from old "Leave It to Beaver" episodes.

•Steal the Mona Lisa from the Louvre, and destroy it with hole-punchers, toenail clippers and a red-hot cigarette lighter from a car. Then place the vandalized masterpiece, frame and all, inside a larger frame, and exhibit it.

I read these ideas to Jonathan P. Binstock, curator of contemporary art at the Corcoran Gallery of Art. What did he think? Were they any good?

He wouldn't exactly commit. But he did talk for 25 minutes, and said this:

"The interesting question is not what can be a work of art. The interesting question is why you want to do it."

Also: "There's something true about your effort."

Also: "Cynicism is one of the default positions in art."

Also: "One of the great post-Duchampian artists is Maurizio Catalan. He's a smartass, too."

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in Washington and the media consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Gene Weingarten writes the Below the Beltway humor column for The Washington Post. To comment, please click here.

01/11/05: You can't buy this kind of PR ... But then, you wouldn't want to

© 2005 WPWG