The paper "Marcel Duchamp and Dada" discusses dada movement and Marcel Duchamp. What Duchamp hoped to accomplish artistically with ready-mades was to literally call into the question the cliché that beauty rests entirely within the eye of he who beholds it. Another ready-made of interest was a work that consisted of a bicycle wheel mounted upside down on a kitchen stool titled simply “Bicycle Wheel.” The very fact that such an exhibit would lead to questioning whether this qualifies as art at all. Question such as those were the primary component that drove Dadaists and it was such a Such were the questions raised by the concepts of Dadaism; this was an innovative step that even today, nearly a century later, the same questions are still capable of being raised. Duchamp and the Dada movement had the purpose of art being viewed from an intellectual perspective as well as a purely visual one; the idea was to confront traditional ideas about the truth and nature of aestheticism. Duchamp further defied the traditions of aesthetics and the nature of what qualifies as art with what may be his most famous Dadaist work ever, “L.H.O.O.Q.”. This takes the iconic image of Leonard Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, perhaps the epitome for most people of the concept of what a work of art is, and transforms it by committing the anti-art act of graffiti upon it in the form of a drawn mustache across the La Giaconda’s enigmatic smile. While the immediate reaction might be that such an act is intended to mock Leonardo himself. and the Mona Lisa specifically. From a Dadaist perspective, however, "L.H.O.O.Q." isn't even intended to an indictment of the work of art that it apparently slanders, but is designed to be a larger attack against such things as how society positions art, as well as how art can exist in a society that has also produced such atrocities of the human condition. A deeper insight into what Duchamp may be saying could be society needs to be more vociferous in their acceptance of artworks that aren't conventionally beautiful. To take this idea to its logical conclusion, of course, would to say that "L.H.O.O.Q" also asks society to look at itself more closely in determining what is beautiful and what is ugly.
Dada's confrontational techniques consistently ask the viewer to look more closely as how the works of Duchamp might be appealing even if they are not conventionally compelling. Despite what contemporary society may appear to say, this question is hardly answered to satisfaction. In recent decades, the ideal of beauty has shifted to include any number of unconventional concepts of beauty. Duchamp and the Dada movement asked that the intellectual element of an artwork reach as high a level of importance of visual beauty of it. One fan of art may look at the Mona Lisa's beauty marred by a mustache as distasteful, but that criticism is not just acceptable to the Dadaists but vital. Art should not be judged exclusively on the basis of aesthetics, but from an intellectual perspective as well that takes into consideration such things as the socio-political value the work of art has. What kind of comment does it make on the world that has shaped the artist who created, as well as the opinions that viewers engage when they critique it. Judging a work of art simply through its visual merits result in a self-imposed limitation on the enjoyment and experience that is possible. Equally true would it be limiting to confuse art with beauty and beauty with art. Ponder this quote from Duchamp himself, "Art may