Response to “Femalic Molds”

Dickson, Stewart , 2007/12/01, 2019/05/07

Chers Messieurs:

I wish to express my astonishment at reading the article you posted: “Femalic Molds” by Jean Clair (translation by Taylor M. Stapleton). Originally published in 2000, which translation you published in 2003.

Of course, I am aware of the interest in the fourth dimension of the Modernists, particularly with reference to Salvador Dali’s Christus Hypercubus, etc. and I have studied Duchamp’s Green Box since 1977.
I certainly recognize the influence of ideas on the fourth dimension in Cubism and of the cinema on Nude Descending a Staircase, but I had no idea of Duchamp’s ideas regarding the male and female figure and the fourth dimension.

I find, therefore, that I have created more of an homage to Duchamp than I had originally intended in my work, “Botty Shelly” (1999-2005). Here you see appropriated art and found mathematics.  In 1999, when I
conceived of this work, I consciously placed it as though it was the Female Fig Leaf set atop Botticelli’s seashell. However, the Etruscan Venus is, itself a form of the Klein bottle. This aspect became increasingly important to me. I remembered a story I read in National Lampoon (of all places) in 1978 which described an IUD (Intra-Uterine Device) of the form of a Klein bottle.
It functioned by sending the male emission through the fourth dimension. I came to realize, therefore, that “Botty Shelly” was really the uterine opening — Annie Sprinkle’s “Public Cervix” — rendered as a vessel of
metaphysical transformation.

Incidentally, please see at:; my models of the Moebius band and Klein bottle, which I believe really
shows how the latter is derived from the former. Now, to show how the Steiner Roman surface, and thus the Etruscan Venus are really forms of the Klein bottle — not obvious and quite another
matter for future visualization. And, also, accidental homage to Duchamp in my other work:
Note the inverted bicycle wheel in the construction, which is not apparent in the finished three-dimensional Zoetrope. [Natural Mathematical language directly converted to a four-dimensional object in physical space-time.]


Stewart Dickson