Dialogues With Marcel Duchamp
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”Marcel Duchamp, one of this century’s pioneer artists, moved his work through the retinal boundaries which had been established with impressionism into t field with impressionism into t field where language, thought and vision act upon one another, There it changed form through a complex interplay of new mental and physical materials, heralding many of the technical, mental and visual details to be found in more recent art...In the 1920s Duchamp gave up, quit painting. He allowed, perhaps encouraged, the attendant mythology. One thought of his decision, his willing this stopping. Yet on one occasion, he said it was not like that. He spoke of breaking a leg. ’You don’t mean to do it,’ he said.The Large Glass. A greenhouse for his intuition. Erotic machinery, the Bride, held in a see-through cage’a Hilarious Picture.’ Its cross references of sight and thought, the changing focus of the eyes and mind, give fresh sense to the time and space we occupy, negate any concern with art as transportation. No end is in view in this fragment of a new perspective. ’In the end you lose interest, so I didn’t feel the necessity to finish it.’He declared that he wanted to kill art (’for myself’) but his persistent attempts to destroy frames of reference altered our thinking, established new units of thought, ’a new thought for that object.’The art community feels Duchamp’s presence and his absence. He has changed the condition of being here.”--Jasper Johns, from Marcel Duchamp: An Appreciation</Div>
recall how few of my questions had to do with him.6 Most of my questions had to do with the clarification of various Dada mysteries (such as conflicting stories about the discovery of the name “Dada”) that had become clouded in legend so many years after the fact, often deliberately. Later, I enlisted his aid (which ultimately proved fruitless) in trying to reconcile Richard Huelsenbeck and Tristan Tzara to having their recent writings appear together between the same covers. They detested each
doesn’t do any good. I don’t expect anything. I don’t need anything. Soliciting is one of the forms of need, the consequence of a need. This doesn’t exist for me, because fundamentally I have got along fine without producing anything for a long time now. I don’t ascribe to the artist that sort of social role in which he feels obligated to make something, where he owes himself to the public. I have a horror of such considerations. CABANNE: You did exactly the opposite by participating in the
each visitor a flashlight, in case he wanted to see something. CABANNE : Yes, but wasn’t the flashlight supply exhausted after a few hours? DUCHAMP: Very quickly. That was really too bad. There was another amusing detail, the smell of coffee. In a corner, we had an electric plate on which coffee beans were roasting. It gave the whole room a marvelous smell; it was part of the exhibition. It was rather Surrealist, altogether. CABANNE: Why did you leave for New York the night before the opening?
Russians weren’t far from doing it. It isn’t funny, but it’s a thing to be considered. But what the Russians tried to bring about is no longer possible, with fifty nations. There is too much contact, too many points of communication from one country to another. CABANNE: Who are your friends? DUCHAMP: Many people. I don’t have any enemies, or very few. There are people who don’t like me, that’s for sure, but I don’t even know them. I mean that it’s not a declared hostility, it’s not a war. In
avoided those documents which dealt with the Bride and chose those for the readymades.” [Translator] 6—— Marchanddu Sel. Écrits de Marcel Duchamp réunis et présentés par Michel Sanouillet. Paris, Le Terrain Vague, 1958. Primarily a French anthology, it includes fragments and longer passages in English and, most conveniently and in alphabetical order, all the critiques for the Société Anonyme catalogue (Yale, 1950), pp. 117-148. Comprehensive and annotated bibliography by Poupard Lieussou lists