ASRL / PERPETUAL 2014
 
Revitalized and Analyzed: Elisofon's Duchamp Descends a Staircase
By Jenny Fan
posted: 05-08-11
Duchamp descending a staircase. Eliot Elisofon. 1952. Time, Inc.
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. -- Allison Pappas, the 2010-2011 Judith M. Lenett fellow in Williams College’s Graduate Program in the History of Art will speak about her efforts in restoring three early twentieth-century prints at this spring’s Judith M. Lenett Memorial Lecture.  Pappas will discuss the interface of photojournalistic prints and museum art, and the her on-going restoration treatment, taxed with art historical research, in mending the work of Lewis Hine’s Lunch Time, Robert Capa’s Allied Entry into Paris, and Eliot Elisofon’s Marcel Duchamp Descends a Staircase (pictured). The lecture, "Let There Be Light: American Photojournalism and the Working Print," will be hosted at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute on May 10, 2011 at 5:30 pm.

...Source
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How Man Ray Took on Lautreamount
By Eli Epstein-Deutsch
posted: 05-03-11
The abyss of objecthood: sewing machine edition
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In a recent post I compared Duchamp's assemblage of the bicycle wheel atop the stool to the Comte de Lautreamont (aka Isidore Ducasse)'s notorious saying: "as beautiful as the chance meeting of an umbrella and a sewing machine on a table." The latter, I argued, was radically disjunctive in a way that the bicycle wheel was not and furthermore that Lautreamont's image really only makes sense in language.

Recently however, I was proven somewhat (I emphasize somewhat) wrong: the surrealist photographer and painter Man Ray was iconoclastic enough to actually attempt to iconize Lautreamont's proto-Dada poetic turn! In "The Image of Isidore Lucasse," which I saw recently at the Museum of Art in Lugano, Switzerland, Man Ray sketches out the hypothetical meeting in a drawing simultanously lifelike, mundane (the style could be that of an illustrated textbook for kids) and perverse.

The point that it's not clear what could become of the umbrella and sewing machine together once they met, however, still stands: indeed it is reinforced by Man Ray's example. All he could do is produce a 2-dimensional sketch, with the illusory solidity of an M.C. Escher, portraying something impossible as if it were the most natural thing in the world.

When it came to rendering Ducasse's thought as a real world object in typical Surrealist fashion, Man Ray cleverly deferred. He produced a work called "The Enigma of Idore Ducasse": a sewing machine completely obscured by a blanket. The umbrella is nowhere to be seen.

...Source
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The Great Peeps Extravaganza: A Duchamp edition
By Jenny Fan
posted: 05-02-11
6,146 Cubic Peep, by Chillon Leach of St. Paul
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Pioneer Press, a daily running out of St. Paul, just concluded its 2011 Pioneer Press Marshmallow Peeps Diorama and Video Contest. . For those of you who do not keep up with local news in St. Paul, Minnesota or with the near cult favorite kingdom of Peeps, the Peeps Diorama contest has been an annual tradition for the inhabitants of the Twin Cities for the past 8 years. And Peeps are those pink and neon colored soft marshmallow candies, often shaped into teeny bunnies and chicks, that are the source of the baffling and pervasive Peepdemic.  (For proof, see how a real-life scientist says the threat of a Peepdemic is all too real.) This year’s contest drew 200 participants who created a smorgasbord of stupendous dioramas where Peeps were re-incarnated as Lady Gagas, criminals behind bars, angsty married couples, protestors who braved both Cairo and the Wisconsin State Assembly. They featured scenes from "The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest," etc.  Among "Justin Peeper Fever," "Harry Peepdini," "Prince William & Kate Peeps at the Royal Wedding," and "Peeples Fishing," (Look here for more) is "6,146 Cubic Peep," by Chillon Leach of St. Paul--which is described as being "evocative [of] Duchamp's In Advance of the Broken Arm" by Pioneer Press. 

Leach's inspiration came from the big snow storms earlier this year.  Her diorama tried to capture the mountains of snow she shoveled as well as the stolid individuals who tried to dig and plow through them.  Leach adorned her peeps with meticulously sewn fur hats and mittens, and more relevant to our interest, accessorized with the gray shovels.  The connection between Duchamp and 6,146, not to mention other installments of Peeps may be far-fetched.  But one wonders how Peeps could have changed Duchamp's readymades, and how Duchamp would have changed Peeps had Peeps been created previous to the 1950's. 

For more entries in the 2011 Pioneer Press Marshmallow Peeps Diorama and Video Contest, check out Pioneer Press's gallery. The Peeps World Record can be found here, where you can find "Most Peeps Balanced On An iPhone" and "Most Peeps Eaten In 30 Seconds." General information on Peeps can be found at MarshmallowPeeps.com.

...Source
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"Who's Your Dada?": Com&Com Commission a Readymade Baby
By Maria Goldverg
posted: 04-30-11
Com&Com
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Com&Com's latest project offers to bring a work of art to life. Or perhaps, it would be more apt to say that they aim to transform life into a work of art, quite literally. Last month, the Swiss arts duo, comprised of Marcus Gossolt and Johannes M. Hedinger, proposed this unusual arrangement: they will pay a Russian couple, chosen from applications submitted online, $10,000 to name their baby "Dada." The conditions are simple: the couple must possess Russian citizenship and their baby must be due to arrive in September or October of 2011.

Com&Com, which initially stood for Commercial Communication, contend that their contest is more than a publicity stunt. Hedinger steadfastly claims that his group's desire to transform babes into "Dada" is an extension of the readymade concept—first coined by Marcel Duchamp in 1915, the readymade became a flagship for Dada art in New York. Hedinger pronounced of the group's ambition, "In many ways this is a project for life; we are building a new network for these children."

Hedinger appears to suggest that with the proper 'curation,' these children can be conceptualized of in alternate fashions, perhaps one that would even enable us to view them as curated works, and thus as art too. Like Dada, Com&Com want to shock their audience. And perhaps, also like Dada, they seek to propound a kind of art that, in the spirit of Dada and perhaps even in the rest of the avant-garde as well, is able to embody an inventiveness that resists ossification and truly sublates an old world museum culture, as it did at the turn of the twentieth century.

Gugusdada, the name of the project, is supposed to take place as a part of Moscow's upcoming 4th Biennale of Contemporary Art in September and October of this year. Com&Com, however, hope to broaden their scope, they hope to achieve the births of five or six "Dada"s around the world by 2016 for the centennial celebration of the Zurich nightclub that housed the beginning of the Dada movement in 1916, Cabaret Voltaire.

Those interested may apply by filling out this form.

More information can also be found on the Gugusdada website.

...Source
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Duchamp Owns Everything
By Eli Epstein-Deutsch
posted: 04-29-11
But who owns Duchamp?
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Several nights ago, I ate dinner at the apartment of a couple who had pasted a copy of the famous "Art History Poster," up in their bathroom (so there was plenty of time to study it while digesting potato strudel and too much wine). It's the print with a long laundry-list of artists defined on the basis of what they "own": Flavin Owns Neon, Hirst Owns the Pharmacy, Judd Owns Shelves, Picasso Owns the Century, Gilbert owns George, Calder owns Mobiles, etc. Then, at some point it reads: "Duchamp Owns Everything." I'd seen this before, but this time it struck me as pretty funny: the real punch line of the whole poster. Duchamp Owns Everything: perhaps He does.

For some reason, I was reminded of this line at a concert by the Books I attended the night after. The Books could fairly be considered the Marcel Duchamp of indie-pop; one song from their new album for instance, "Free Translator," was created by taking the lyrics of a folk song, and translating them through the world's major languages, then back  to English, using translation software. They then set the results to music: a very Duchampian exercise in writing a song without writing a song. Furthermore, their irreverent, genre-bending tracks are notorious for incorporating found audio/video clips and strange verbiage: at the beginnin of their song "Take Time," from the album The Lemon of Pink, an Italian man is recorded saying "Non e niente naturale in la natura, regazzo mio."

"There is nothing natural in nature, my boy." Nothing is natural in nature. This could be another way of saying "Tout-Fait": everything is made (another meaning of the french phrase for ready-made.) It is in the nature of human civilization to construct everything: even (especially) Nature. Nothing is natural. Everything is made.

Duchamp was the first to decide that everything 'made' was art (America's plumbing and bridges are its finest works, he asserted); thus he ensured that it would be his art. Everything is made, therefore everything is art; Duchamp Owns Everything. Q.E.D.

...Source
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