Notes on the Indefinable

October 19, 2006

Excerpt: Nude Descending a Staircase: A Performance Piece

Ok, so this is somewhat freaky and perhaps a little more “loose” than I ususally like my poetry / art, but there are some poignant moments in this piece that go a certain distance to getting the feeling of Duchamp’s “Nude” across to the reader.

Excerpt from: Nude Descending a Staircase: A Performance Piece by Sheri Tousey

Nude Descending a Staircase

An explosion in a shingle factory!

But where is the nude?

Random, intellectual whimsy.

Analytical Cubism is transformed into mental surgery.


Salon des Independents–Paris, 1912

Galerie Dalmau–Barcelona, 1912

Section d’Or Exhibition–Paris, 1912


Entire poem / performance available here.


October 18, 2006

Nude Descending into the History Books

Filed under: Art History, Critcism, Non / Conceptual Art, Painting — Luke @ 12:37 pm

duchamp_-_nude_descending_a_staircase.jpgMy final project is to take a look at works of art we now regard as seminal and explore the critical reaction of the time. Often it was negative, sometimes not … my hope is to get a better understanding about evolving definitions of art (my own included).

I’ll be gathering bits from ’round the Internet and posting them here (in addition to looking at actual books made of paper, ink, glue and all that other weird stuff).

According to Wikipedia:

Duchamp first submitted the work (Nude Descending a Staircase, No. 2) to appear in a Cubist show at the Salon des Ind├ępendants in Paris, but jurist Albert Gleizes asked Duchamp’s brothers, Jacques Villon and Raymond Duchamp-Villon, to have him voluntarily withdraw the painting, or paint over the title that he had painted on the work and rename it something else.

Of the incident Duchamp recalled,

“I said nothing to my brothers. But I went immediately to the show and took my painting home in a taxi. It was really a turning point in my life, I can assure you. I saw that I would not be very much interested in groups after that.”

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