The State of Duchamp Studies in the New Millenium

Girst, Thomas Editor-in-Chief, 2000/05/01, 2019/05/13

click to enlarge
Marcel Duchamp,Tu m'
Marcel Duchamp, Tu m’, 1918 / ©
2000 Succession Marcel Duchamp,
ARS, N.Y./ADAGP, Paris.
(The overall design of
Tout-Fait Volume 1 is based
on the above, Duchamp’s last painting.)

Dear Reader,

When we started Tout-Fait last December we could not have possibly imagined such a positive response! Featured as a selected website by the New York Times, our Marcel Duchamp Studies Online Journal has had more than 11,000 visits from all around the world within its first four months in existence. Each day, we receive inquiries, tips and critical thoughts from an ever-growing network of readers interested in Duchamp and twentieth century art. While we were modest enough to think that our ‘Notes’ section only humbly adds to Duchamp scholarship, it was a pleasant surprise when we learned that Artforum referred to them as “earth-shattering news item[s]”(full text) in a recent review of Tout-Fait.

We are now happy to announce the second issue with contributions from Duchampians Hector Obalk, Dieter Daniels and Hans de Wolf, and a presentation of the by now “historic” computer animation of the Large Glass by Jean Suquet. This time around, Stephen Jay Gould taps into Duchamp’s “Artful Wordplays” and with “Duchamp Bottles Belle Greene: Just Desserts for his Canning” Bonnie Garner adds an interesting twist to the character of Rrose Sélavy. Our interview presents an incredibly vital Charles Henri Ford, who sixty years ago founded View, America’s first avant-garde magazine. Another contribution sheds some light on the naming of the Cassandra Foundation that delivered Duchamp’s posthumously revealed Étant Donnés to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Further notes, articles and animations revolve around chess, the Large Glass, the relationship between Cage and Duchamp, his “financial documents” and much more.

New features include our ‘Art & Literature’ section, complete with a new* translation of Robert Lebel’s “L’Inventeur du temps gratuit” and other contributions by Madeline Gins and Dove Bradshaw, as well as by J. Bronowski, the first translator of Duchamp’s notes. The ‘Letters’ square makes room for valuable comments, while the contact us link at the bottom of every page enables our readers to forward their thoughts, join the guestlist or post messages on our Bulletin Board. We’re always open to your suggestions and ideas. Through ‘Back Issues,’ previous numbers of Tout-Fait may always be accessed.

Regarding the state of Duchamp studies, the new millenium seems off to a good start. So far, publications by Jean Clair, Didier Ottinger, Richard Hamilton, as well as Léon Altenbaum’s edition of the correspondence between Duchamp and Hélion have appeared this year. Further books on the an-artist by Molly Nesbit, Hector Obalk, André Gervais and Herbert Molderings are scheduled to be published soon. With Duchamp exhibitions from Paris to Ljubliana, and already two major symposiums devoted to him at Yale and the San Francisco Museum of Art, no holds seem to be barred. Joining us on the web is the French Duchamp studies journal Étant Donné, whose second issue appeared in March this year. For more Duchamp related websites, click here for links.

Once again, we would like to express our gratitude to Jacqueline Matisse-Monnier for her continuing support. A big “Thank You!” also goes out to Tout-Fait’s senior advisor André Gervais for his generous help at late hours and last minutes.

Enjoy browsing, stay a while and spread the word.

Thomas Girst

* We thank David Westling for informing us that a first translation of “L’Inventeur du temps gratuit” was originally published in: J.H. Matthews, The Custom House of Desire: A Half-Century of Surrealist Stories (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1975), pp. 150-160.

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