1-2-3-DUCHAMP !

a visual analysis of Marcel Duchamp . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

étant donnés


1969-2012 : “étant donné” or  before we begin to play…
.

.
.
as634b
Marcel Duchamp wanted us, after his death, to see his work like he did himself. That is what he tells us with ‘Etant donnés: 1) la chute d’eau, 2) le gaz d’éclairage’. It is a posthumous work. He worked on it for 20 years, but only wanted it to be made public after his passing away.

Why would anyone want to make a posthumous work? Why is it that something cannot be seen or known during your lifetime? Well… because you feel shame. About something very essential that you’d rather keep private, something inappropriate. You have managed to keep it hidden for your whole life. And in such an ingenious way that you are actually proud of it . You do want to be caught, so that your true genius is seen and acknowledged. But only after you are no longer around.

Marcel Duchamp concealed something very essential this way. He made it into a continuous game of chess through his art. And he has won. We never caught on to his smart game. But after his death we were allowed to know. Posthumously he gave us The Keys  or”Les étant donnés”.

First we have to peep through a crack in a door…
as634--
only then we are able to see
Etant donnés: 1) la chute d’eau, 2) le gaz d’éclairage
.

A “étant donné” is the given knowledge  which you begin to play a game with or the initial situation  a detective finds himself in. The title invites us to search for something. It is 1969 when we start. What do we see?
You could see this staging of things as a murder, or a rape. Or does the woman lie there willingly? Duchamp gives us two indications to start from. Given 1 is “la chute d’eau” and we look at that silly waterfall, far away in the landscape. Given 2 is “le gaz d’éclairage” and we look at the gas lamp the woman holds in her hand.
Duchamp’s true meaning here is the waterfall out of  the woman and also the gas out of  the woman. Her water and her wind. It might sound vulgar or perverse but those are the “étant donnés” that we receive. They are the two starting points of Duchamp’s game: Urine and farts. A game that covers his complete oeuvre.
“Eau et Gaz à tous les étages”!

Now let us look at a random piece of work, a rather figurative painting:
Yvonne et Magdeleine déchiquetées

Different portraits on one canvas of his two younger sisters “déchiquetées”, “made ugly”. Marcel Duchamp is 24 years old, it is 1911.
We start in the upper left corner and take a close look at that pale profile through his lens of urine and farts.

Do you see the vagina in the profile? And do you see that vagina situated between legs?

   

Slideshow 1 will clarify:
click here
.
This is already a bit of “chute d’eau”.
This innocent work now is full of such erotic scenes! Hidden well, every time. The lines of the erotic drawing correspond to some lines of different portraits together. It takes a piece of improbable tinkering to realize this. The method of visual analysis needs tinkering in the opposite direction (see playing method in the menu). Anatomical knowledge will be of use. Also, you need to dare to be perverse, without prioritising your own sexual fantasies. We note only what the lines of Duchamp offer us. It is surprising how the results will not give us coincidental  situations, but a very specific erotica.
   
In  slideshow 2 you will see 16 possible situations that can be found in the painting.
Click here

Already one could call it shameful. Especially in that time. Especially because Marcel Duchamp portrays himself. With his nose near a vagina. Or near an anus with wind surrounding it. Is it him as well, who masturbates and who is being masturbated? The female partner is not an adult woman. There is no pubic hair and no breasts are to be seen. Could they really be the sisters?

Let us have another look at ‘Etant donnés: 1) la chute d’eau, 2) le gaz d’éclairage’: here the body is that of a grown up, but again, the vagina shows no pubic hair. Now we also recognise the posture of the hand: it is masturbating a man. Moreover it is impossible for a hand to carry a gas lamp in the way it is shown to us. The Auer-lamp should be seen as a metaphor for an erected penis. These are new elements, new Keys, in the visual research.

Let us investigate these results in other work. Let us go to an even earlier time . This is one of his very first works:
Petite fille dormante.

A schoolish sketch. From 1902. Marcel Duchamp has not reached the age of 15. But here as well are superfluous lines that clearly have their own different meaning. Those are the traitors, which we must follow and combine. Again we use Duchamp’s glasses and the funny thing is we find exactly the same results.

   
S
lideshow 3 will make things visible:
click here
.
Obviously the young Marcel’s hormones are just as developed as his creative mind. His self-portraits are recognisable, her buttocks rather small. They must belong to another child. These images may be fantasized, but they can also tell us something of what really happened.

In any case, 1)urine and 2)farts appears to be the two shameful, inappropriate, private starting points of Duchamp’s visual game, played since 1902.
A game that will cover his complete oeuvre?
“Eau et Gaz à tous les étages” ?
eau et gaz

It is 2012 by now.
It is time to see, to understand and to accept this game Marcel Duchamp played, in order to appreciate his genius even more.
A chronological, visual analysis is needed.
.
Every winning chess player loves his game to be analysed..
.
.
.
.
The chronology follows the numbering, the location and the English names used in
THE COMPLETE WORKS OF MARCEL DUCHAMP by Arturo Schwarz (Delano Greenidge Editions, New York), the edition of 2000.
Arturo Schwarz wrote this book during Duchamp’s life, they were good friends and Duchamp offered his help. For both of them, Marcel Duchamp’s oeuvre begins in 1902 with ‘Young girl sleeping’, our ‘Jeune fille dormante’.

Biographical data and ‘petit histoire’ will be written in italics in this investigation and will act as a companion to the visual research as context is very important.
.
.

.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .
Ref.
: Gorik Lindemans  (© 2012)
les étant donnés :  before we begin to play…

1-2-3-DUCHAMP !  a visual analysis of  Marcel Duchamp
onetwothreeduchamp.wordpress.com


.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s