In 2004, a urinal was voted the most influential work ever in modern art. Famed artist and provocateur Marcel Duchamp claimed to have created “Fountain”—or rather, he bought the mass-produced product and signed it—but according to some, it is the lesser-known, flamboyant Dadaist artist Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven who should take credit for transforming this much-discussed porcelain “piss pot” into art.

Filmmaker Barbara Visser has delved into the absurd history of the iconic work, of which it is uncertain whether the original still exists. The absurdity is heightened by the fact that Visser regularly intervenes in the film to chat with the designer, giving instructions to change fonts or to zoom in on photos.

Alreadymade is a search for the truth behind “Fountain,” a reflection on what makes art into art, and at the same time an attempt to bring Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven to life. Using the little archive footage of her that exists, and with the help of a German actress and modern technology, the fascinating bohemian is brought out of the margins of art history.

More info

Whirlwind of a detective documentary, with film restorations and artificial intelligence.
But the real genius of Vissers’ film Alreadymade hides in the edit.
With it’s dizzying collage of existing media, newly made images and a choir of conflicting expert opinions, the film itself becomes a readymade.

Dana Linssen – NRC -

A cutting-edge collage of digitally generated imagery, repurposed archive footage, playful speculation and journalistic investigation.

- Stephen Dalton - The Film Verdict - 

Directed by Barbara Visser
Camera by Gregor Meerman, Joost van Herwijnen
Audiomix by Tijn Hazen
Grading by Barend Onneweer
Produced by Tomtit Film

Edited on Adobe Premiere

Running time 87 min