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Texts: The Anxiety of Influence (1973) - Harold Bloom

Ready-Made (1917) - Marcel Duchamp
In 2004, Marcel Duchamp's porcelain urinal was named the world's most influential piece of modern art in a survey of 500 artists, curators, critics and dealers. (source: Guardian)


  • A power affecting a person, thing, or course of events, especially one that operates without any direct or apparent effort: relaxed under the influence of the music; the influence of television on modern life. --AHD [2004]

    Social influence

    Social influence is when the actions or thoughts of individual(s) are changed by other individual(s). Peer pressure is an example of social influence.

    Social influence is not rare, occurring constantly as a process of socialization.

    In the case of peer pressure, a person might be forced into doing something (such as going to an opera) he might not like but is "necessary" to upkeep the positive relationship with the other party, such as the family of his/her girl/boyfriend. The person could agree to the offering even if he hated it because of many reasons; maybe he is the possible inheritor of the family/person that asks him to come to the opera, the family could want to evaluate the person before letting their son/daughter get married with him/her, etc.

    Social influence can also be described by the word Power (sociology), which means to possess the ability to embrace a person/group of people to one's own will. Usually people of good genes (looks), significant sums of money, good jobs and so on will possess social influence on other, "ordinary" people. So even if the person doesn't possess any "real" or political power but possessed the things listed above (good looks, money, etc.), he could persuade other people into doing/saying something.

    An example would be movie stars, who don't (usually) possess any political power but are familiar to many of the world's citizens and therefore possess social status. They get a lot of media coverage, they are admired in television shows and they have many enthusiastic fans. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_influence [Apr 2005]

    see also: social

    The most influential piece of modern art

    The Duchamp came out top in a survey of 500 artists, curators, critics and dealers commissioned by the sponsor of the Turner prize, Gordon's. Different categories of respondents chose markedly different works, with artists in particular plumping overwhelmingly for Fountain.

    1. Fountain (1917) - Marcel Duchamp
    2. Les Demoiselles d'Avignon - Picasso
    3. Andy Warhol's Marilyn Diptych
    4. Guernica - Picasso
    5. Henri Matisse's The Red Studio
    6. Joseph Beuys, I Like America and America Likes Me
    7. Constantin Brancusi, Endless Column
    8. Jackson Pollock, One: No 31
    9. Donald Judd, 100 untitled works in mill aluminium
    10. Henry Moore, Reclining Figure 1929
    --http://www.guardian.co.uk/arts/news/story/0,11711,1364123,00.html [Dec 2004]

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