1-2-3-DUCHAMP !

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

playing method

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the visual analysis-game 1-2-3-DUCHAMP !
the exhibition and book


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RESEARCH MATERIAL

The cigar box contains 17 anagrams, in envelopes with loose letters.
The transparent A4-folder contains early drawings and all of Marcel Duchamp’s cartoons, 18 of them analyzed. Also in the folder: two whiteboard markers (one red, one blue) and transparent A4-film.
The small, black notebook contains 19 investigated anagrams. A red/blue pencil at the ready (and a lot of writing paper not pictured).
The bulky, black A4-folder contains 52 works of art by Duchamp that have been analysed. In addition there is a lot of documentation referring to the Duchamp family, the art world at the time, objects of the time (“toton”, fans, bicycles and such), erotica and pornography, chess games, French vocabulary, many attempts to unravel anagrams, information about psychoanalysis, image philosophy, optic illusions, citations by Marcel Duchamp, the research of Courbet, Ingres, Kandinsky, Picabia, and also analysis of the works of Jacques, Raymond en Suzanne Duchamp.


IMAGE MATERIAL
For this investigation only reproductions were used, approximately size A4. Mostly the results of a visual analysis were double-checked by investigating the same work in another book.

INVESTIGATING PRINCIPLES
The analysis is based on two keys only. But anything else that can be found will not be dismissed. We make the analysis by looking only and not by projecting our own desires or knowledge. We need to look with the mind of a detective.

VISUAL ANALYSIS
First a solid transparent A4-film is put on top of the reproduction. We can draw on this with a whiteboard marker. The lines can easily be wiped off so we can start over smoothly. We will permanently scan our options.
The results will be noted on a separate piece of paper: the blue pencil marking the basic drawing of the artwork and the red pencil showing the source location of the result. So that later on we can trace this in a more precise manner (see slideshows in ‘Etant donnés’).
Obviously this method of visual analysis can also be done digitally.

                   


TRAITORS
We always start from an odd line, or from a line with a strange detail. These lines reveal a specific function that is not necessary for the image that we see. This will lead to other lines that share this hidden function. In the end we arrive at a completely new image: the original erotic drawing.
Sometimes lines in the foreground will be in obvious relation to some lines in the background. They are traitors as well. Or something that has been drawn uncomprehendingly bad. An eye that has been placed wrongly betrays the existence of another face. Or something is lit up in the wrong manner. So that for example a bulge appears where there shouldn’t be one. Visual analysis will give that bulge its true meaning.
The traitors lead  the investigation and surprise us. Sometimes this can only be observed when the reproduction is rotated or turned upside down. Sometimes it is necessary to look for something else, because a combination is hidden between two loose elements.
 
 


KEYS
It is of tremendous value that we know what we need to find. Body parts. The knowledge of anatomy is useful. For example to be able to recognise the inside of a right leg in a curved line.
Through the traitors, we also get to know new scenes. These findings again become new keys. After a while, familiarity arises and it is easier to find well known items. Also because they are repeated again and again.

STYLE
There is a difference in style in the drawings, but also in the hiding. Marcel and Suzanne Duchamp are very different. Marcel is rather true to nature. Suzanne’s style is more modern, more art-deco. Jacques Villon’s hidden drawings are more interrupted, more abstract as well. Each time a new world comes into existence. This demands an adjustment from the visual detective each time.
Marcel has applied many different ways of hiding. And Suzanne often uses a mirror for it.

THE ANAGRAMS
Anagrams are very difficult, nigh impossible to solve, when there is no key. In Duchamps youth the magazines printed anagrams accompanied by an illustration or a mystifying sentence that would lift a tip of the veil. Or you were given an interrupted dotted line, so you could guess the words a little. But Marcel Duchamp never gave us anything. Moreover he used to play with the “impératif passé” and other weird forms of conjugation. And probably there are his own imagined names, out of their own specific game. And on top of that he uses abbreviations! These anagrams are only meaningful to himself, and without any doubt they will be correct.
In the end Marcel Duchamp did give us two Keys  : urine and farts. Thanks to them and the visual research we uncovered some fitting images. Native French speakers can find now the correct meaning of the anagrams. The best method is to shift letters, in order to see other words (hurray for dyslexia!) to form new sentences that fit Marcel’s desires. Write down everything found, it may be useful later on. This game is just as rational as the “if this then that”-reasoning in chess and quite difficult!
     
The written way of doing anagram puzzles is beautiful but not as effective.

 
 

Apply these “rules of play” so that the analysis of Duchamp may continue.

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.G O O D   L U C K !

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RESEARCH SOURCES
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The complete works of Marcel Duchamp
(revised and expanded edition)
Arturo Schwarz
Delano Greenidge editions, New York 2000


Duchamp confisqué, Marcel retrouvé

Philippe Sers.
Edition Hazan, Paris 2009


L’Assiette au Beurre

1901-1912
Collectie Ignaas Lindemans


http://www.duchamp-villon-crotti.com


http://www.kubisme.info


Nouveau Larousse illustré

sous la direction de Claude Augé
Librairie Larousse, Paris 1904/1907


http://www.dada-companion.com


Marcel Duchamp et le multiple dans l’art moderne

François Raymond
Université de Montréal 1999


Marcel Duchamp of de kunst om (niet) in herhaling te vallen

Francis M. Naumann
Ludion, Gent 1999


http://www.marcelduchamp.net


http://www.toutfait.com


Duchamp

Eileen Romano
Rizzoli/Skira, Milano 2004


De wereld van Marcel Duchamp

Calvin Tomkins
Time/Life, New York 1966

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FURTHER RESEARCH

Look, the research material at the end of May 2012, when this site was made : 70 artworks by Marcel Duchamp were analysed visually and 15 artworks by other Duchamps.

And here the research material at the end of November 2012. After the book and the exhibition were made. In the meantime there are 106 artworks by Marcel Duchamp visually analysed. And the 15 by ‘les Duchamps’ and another 11 by other artists. Every research drawing is placed now in a separate jacket.

These last analysises were not added to the 1-2-3-DUCHAMP ! site, neighter new interpretations and conclusions were written. The new files can be consulted after a personal request.

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EXHIBITION    1-2-3-DUCHAMP !
For more information click  here
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BOOK    1-2-3-DUCHAMP !
For more information click  here
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Ref.
: Gorik Lindemans (© 2012)
play method :  the visual analysis-game 1-2-3-DUCHAMP! , the exhibition and the book
1-2-3-DUCHAMP !  a visual analysis of Marcel Duchamp
onetwothreeduchamp.wordpress.com

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