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L’énigme Marcel Duchamp

Philippe Sers

Did Marcel Duchamp, through his influence, send a whole branch of contemporary art down the wrong path? Did he drive the idea that “just anything” can be promoted as a work of art as long as one has a good “speculation” strategy? In any case, that the idea we all draw out of him in general. In this little essay the author demonstrates that Duchamp’s influence follows a very different coherence. To show it he dissects in particular the scope of ready-made, the Boîtes-en valise which are like self-comments, or the famous Grand Verre, which was only unveiled after his death. One of the most interesting sections is the one in which the author brings together testimonials about Duchamp, gathered right after his death, from Warhol, Tinguely or Jean Clair. All the hermetic aspect of Duchamp art is made clearer by revealing anecdotes, like the one of a very special check. Duchamp paid his dentist one day with a check drawn on a piece of paper, and then bought it back for a superior amount.

L’énigme Marcel Duchamp by Philippe Sers, Hazan, 2014, 160 p., €16.

L’énigme Marcel Duchamp - Philippe Sers

Review published in the newsletter #357 - from 25 September 2014 to 1 October 2014

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