Marcel Duchamp - Bernard Marcadé - Johan & Levi - Libro Johan & Levi Editore
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Marcel Duchamp

La vita a credito

Described by André Breton as the most intelligent man of the 20th century, Marcel Duchamp has never ceased to wield great influence over contemporary art since his death in 1968. From Dada and Surrealism to Futurism and Cubism, his art is interwoven with the great artistic movements of the 20th century without ever being reducible to any one of them.

If Picasso insistently presents the figure of the artist as demiurge, Duchamp personifies the contemporary artist through his invention of the ready-made and has been recognized since the 1960s as an undisputable source of inspiration by younger generations of artists.

A great deal has been written about his work but far less about his life, which he led outside the current categories, not as an artist or anarchist but as an “anartist”, to use his own neologism. Detachment, elegance, the freedom of indifference and interpenetration of opposites as well as a constant assertion of laziness and physiological disdain for money were for him the original tools of an unprecedented stance with respect to the world and things: “I prefer living and breathing to working.” Duchamp’s frequent, caustic remarks on his life serve as a whole to delineate a personal economics (reduce needs in order to be truly free) and an authentic art of living.

According to Henri-Pierre Roché, Duchamp’s finest work was his use of his time. Bernard Marcadé takes this view as his starting point in the deep conviction that detailed examination of the artist’s life will provide the best understanding of his art. By describing the ready-made as a sort of appointment, Duchamp himself suggests the importance of the events of everyday life in the conception of his works. The biographical elements in play – meetings, friendships, secrets, correspondence and love affairs – are not only anecdotal and marginal trimmings of the work but “biographemes” constituting its fundamental components.

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Indice testuale

Prefazione di Achille Bonito Oliva  


1. Figlio di notaio


2. Piano acquoso e riga difficile


3. «Deteorizzare» il Cubismo


4. Antinaturale e antisociale


5. Un nudo può scendere le scale?


6. Monaco


7. «Basta con la pittura, cercati un lavoro»


8. «Estendere le leggi della fisica»


9. Acqua & gas a tutti i piani


10. «Non vado a New York, me ne vado da Parigi»


11. New York, opera d’arte totale


12. Libertà di indifferenza


13. Concetto di niente


14. Victor alias Totor


15. Dada nell’aria


16. La madonna del bagno


17. Feste, facezie e libertinaggi su un fondale di guerra…


18. Tu m’


19. Chess maniac a Buenos Aires


20. Aria di Parigi


21. Société Anonyme, Inc.


22. Rrose Sélavy


23. «En 6 qu’habilla Rrose Sélavy»


24. Stone of Air


25. L’«incompiutezza definitiva» del Grande vetro


26. «Artista spretato» e «femme savante»


27. Mary


28. «Mi muovo nella piattezza»


29. Marcel Duchamp alias Marchand (du sel)


30. Morice & Maurice


31. La sposa e lo scapolo


32. Rosse est la vie


33. Sulla via della beatitudine


34. L’opera messa in scatola dal suo scapolo, anche


35. Vacanze nel passato


36. Abitante dell’infrasottile perdigiorno


37. Storie di valigie in tempi di guerra


38. «Disertore» a New York


39. «Chessing, lessoning, starting a few boxes, my usual life»


40. Maria


41. Nostra signora dei desideri


42. La morte di Mary


43. Oggetto-dardo


44. Teeny


45. «La posterità, questa bella carogna…»


46. «Respiratore» transatlantico


47. Anartista


48. L’artista di domani si darà alla macchia


49. Lasciar fare, lasciar dire…


50. «D’altronde sono sempre gli altri che muoiono»

Marcel Duchamp

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