Duchampian News & Views

  • Lee Miller: More than a Muse

    The new exhibit at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, MA, titled “Man Ray / Lee Miller, Partners in Surrealism,” showcases the long and complicated relationship between the two avant-garde artists. Bringing together the work of Ray, Miller and others from their close circle in an interesting retelling of their story, it documents the various phases of their interconnected lives: as strangers, as mentor and student, as lovers, and finally as friends. Ultimately, .. read more...
  • Games, Continued

    "Games, which as operations are disjunctive, because they produce differentiating events, give rise to spaces where moves are proportional to situations. From the game of chess, an aristocratic form of the "art of war" which came from China and was brought by the Arabs into medieval Western culture where it constituted a very important part of manorial culture, to pinochle, Lotto, and Scrabble, games formulate (and already formalize) rules organizing moves and .. read more...
  • The Quotable Avant-Garde: On (Duchamp) Games and Pataphysics

      "The game is the Pataphysical overture to the world. The realisation of such games is the creation of situations. A crisis therefore exists, caused by the crucial problem which each Pataphysical adept must resolve: s/he must either apply the situlogic method and attack the conditions of the reigning society, or else simply refuse to do anything whatsoever about the situation. It is in the latter resolution to this problem that 'Pataphysics becomes the relig.. read more...
  • Centuries Before Duchamp, Spanish King Elevated Chess Strategy to Occult Art

    The deep affinity between chess and Marcel Duchamp is well known. It's not only that picture of him playing with a nude Eve Babitz, or the striking, abstract set he designed with his friend Man Ray, or even his official decision to abandon art production for a period of 20 years whilst cultivating his tournament game. There is also the sense that the rhythms of chess were deeply intertwined with everything Duchamp did: from the carefully laid Fountain gambit set to trap.. read more...
  • How to Buy a Lawrence Weiner

    If Hannah Weiner wrote a poetics that bore witness to a her schizophrenic environment, a spectacle of linguistic topologies, Lawrence Weiner—member of the Postminimalist Conceptualism movement from the 1960s with others including artists Robert Barry and Sol LeWitt—actively constructs his own peculiar conceptual landscape, by inscribing its signifiers into the real.  Unlike Hannah, Lawrence Weiner dares his audience to do more than read, he dares us to make. .. read more...
  • Sometimes Conceptualist Photographer Jeff Wall Charted Crooked Path Past Duchamp

    Today among the most prominent photographers exhibiting in the world, Jeff Wall has navigated a complex route towards the goal of making large-scale photography safe for top art museums. Along the way he has incorporated influences from classic photography (portraiture, documentary, photo-essay), academic modernist painting (like Post-Impressionism), Minimalism (Dan Flavin), and Conceptualism. A new show at the Bozar Palais Des Beaux Arts in Brussels, entitled Jeff Wall.. read more...
  • An Epitaph for Immortality: Dali on Potsdamer Platz

    After crumpling up that poster of The Persistence of Memory for post-college interior redecoration, the specter of an anti-Salvador Dali backlash presents itself. It's all too easy to decide that the wax-mustachioed Spanish showman was a commercial, cliched hype-machine and somehow your adolescent self was tricked into buying the Kool-Aid. The error of such a position, in my view, is revealed time and time again. It's refuted as much as anything by the permanent exhibiti.. read more...
  • Virtual Duchamp and The Paradox of Art Spaces

    Earlier this month I wrote about the journalist Yoav Sivan, who submitted a Duchampesque art concept to the Columbia Arts Initiative exhibition at Lincoln Center: calling his work "The Restroom of King Francis," he proposed to build a replica of the Louvre hall that contains the Mona Lisa, and then hang a Duchamp urinal on the wall next to it; meanwhile, an adjoining men's room would be hung with a copy of the Mona Lisa, perhaps defaced with the infamous mousta.. read more...
  • Dollar Store Project Pays Tribute to the Readymade in Texas

    When Duchamp's confederate wrote in defense of Fountain that the only works of art America had given the world were its plumbing and its bridges, she might have been remiss not to mention the Dollar Store. This mini-mall staple is a bona-fide USA original: no other culture could have spawned the genius that allows the suburban shopper to acquire a condom-packet keychain, 5000 pipe cleaners, a slutty-mental-hospital-inmate halloween costume, and a box of olive-fuschia constru.. read more...
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