Duchamp looked at (from the other side)

Alliez, Eric, Bonne, Jean-Claude [Collaborator] and Mackay, Robin [Translator] (2022) Duchamp looked at (from the other side). MIT Press. (Undoing the image, 3) ISBN 9781913029678 (In Press)


Duchamp Looked At (From the Other Side) is a meticulous archaeological survey that reconsiders the problems and motivations of ‘Duchamp-thought’ through a close analysis of the artist’s entire oeuvre, examining its many passages: from the Nudes in which the problem of representing movement is gradually displaced onto the virtual plane of the diagram, to the emergence of the readymade from the Standard Stoppages’ pataphysical critique of science, to the arrested ‘eroticism’ of the Large Glass and Étant donnés—and beyond, as the artist carbonizes the white cube with 1200 Coal Sacks and ties up the gallery with Miles of String, before shaping a series of ‘erotic things’ that turn sex inside-out. And then, in a startling deconstruction of the cisgender binary seemingly as integral to Duchampian ‘eroticism’ (the Large Glass) as to Lacanian phallocentrism (‘there is no sexual relation’), Alliez’s ‘supplement’ takes Duchamp-thought to new heights—via the gutter. Because when it comes to sex, following the trail of vulgar double entendres, spoonerisms, and strained puns that course through Duchamp’s work reveals to us a vexed relation of non-relation between the anartist and the grand master of analysis. In advance of her trans-formation into Rrose Sélavy, Duchamp’s lalinguistic mutations were already disrupting the Freudian field, evading the nets of the Symbolic, and desublimating the phallus. Revelling in contradiction, unmaking sense, disrupting gender and genre, this is a queer Duchamp who defies all analysis, already on the other side of ‘ab-sex sense’—a Duchamp With (and Against) Lacan, even.

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