Emergency in Favor in Twice

Original Version:

ca. 1915, Paris
lost or unrealized
no dimensions recorded

The only remaining trace of this piece's existence lies in its mention in a letter Duchamp wrote to his sister Suzanne on January 15, 1916. In this letter the artist uses the term "Readymade" for the first time and refers to a number of specific pieces he has worked on so far, including Bicycle Wheel, In Advance of the Broken Arm, and Bottle Dryer. He writes, "Another readymade is called Emergency in Favor of Twice; possible translation in French: Danger (crise) en faveur de 2 fois" (Naumann & Obalk 44).

This work lacks any proven concrete existence, thus supporting the ephemeral notion of many of the Readymades. More important in idea than physicality, Emergency in Favor of Twice is meant to be at the service of the mind, not the eye.

Since there is hardly any memory of this object's physical state, Duchamp leaves us with little to analyze except for its mysterious title. In keeping with Readymade criterion number five, Duchamp's title suggests two puns. The first is "crise de foi," or "crisis of faith" in English, and the second is "crise de foie", meaning "liver attack."

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