Resistance to Nihilism: Benjamin, Baudrillard, and Duchamp

Novica Milić


If we reread carefully some main texts written long ago by Walter Benjamin and Jean Baudrillard, we may find a scene of problematization not only of contemporary art but also of the contemporary state of the world, where nihilism in its different shapes should be met with resistance, both political and artistic. It really has become the world of simulacra, as Baudrillard would say, or the art in the age of technical reproducibility, as Benjamin suggested. To add to this problematic, the ambiguous status of Marcel Duchamp’s Fountain, produced, or, rather re-produced during the First World War and revived in art criticism and art practice after the Second – an oeuvre which is deemed as “the most influential work of art in the 20th century” – we are faced with the enigma of questioning our own response as a start of resistance to the historical nihilism we live today. This text of ours does not seek to give all, nor even some answers to this enormous problematic, but rather to sketch a framework of the ways we could look at the questions we need to ask ourselves.


Article received: April 23, 2020; Article accepted: June 30, 2020; Published online: September 15, 2020; Original scholarly paper

How to cite this article: Milić, Novica. "Resistance to Nihilism: Benjamin, Baudrillard, and Duchamp." AM Journal of Art and Media Studies 22 (2020): 15-22. doi: 10.25038/am.v0i22.377


Benjamin; Baudrillard; Duchamp; technical reproducibility; simulacra; nihilism; creation.

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