"De Ou Par Marcel Duchamp Par UIf Linde": ROYAL SWEDISH ACADEMY OF FINE ARTS

By Jones, Ronald | Artforum International, February 2012 | Go to article overview

"De Ou Par Marcel Duchamp Par UIf Linde": ROYAL SWEDISH ACADEMY OF FINE ARTS


Jones, Ronald, Artforum International


In its highest form, cultural detective work yields spectacular deductions--equal parts tease and persuasion--permitting you to freely take a leap of faith just to see what happens were the speculation to he true. This was the case for "De oh par Marcel Duchamp par Ulf Linde" (Of or by Marcel Duchamp by Ulf Lmdel, an extravaganza of an exhibition organized by Jan Aman and Daniel Birnbaum with Henrik Samuelsson and Susanna Sloor, centering on Linde's sixty years of sleuthing around Marcel Duchamp's oeuvrc. Linde, once an acolyte of Duchamp and now an authority on his work, proposes that its key is a coded numero-logical system originally embedded in the artist's humble Moulin a Cdfe (Coffee Mill), 1911. In Linde's analysis, the seemingly random numbers 1, 2, 3, 7, and 8 represent the eight members of la famille Duchamp. Uncle observes: "The three brothers, Gaston Duchamp (Jacques Villon.;, Raymond Duchamp Villon and Marcel Duchamp, had three sisters, Suzanne, Madeleine and Yvonne. With father and mother they were a family of 8. Marcel Duchamp heeded his own plight within the family. In his eyes there were only the other family members. He was an eighth leftover--1/8." Ultimately, if you follow along, you will conclude with Linde that 1/8 symbolizes Duchamp's ego. Linde believes the mathematical relationships among these numbers and the golden mean per-meate Duchamp's art right through to his final masterpiece, Etant donnes: 1. La chute d'eau, 2. Le gaz d'eclairctge (Given: 1. The Waterta 2. The Illuminating Gas), 1946-66.

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Yon are welcome to do the math. Linde's impressive essay Ett verks hemligaste Poesi--och dess djupaste (The Most Secret--and Most Pro found--Poetry of a Work, 2011), contains page after page, diagram after diagram, measurement after measurement in support of his theory. A fragment of the analysis of Moulin a cafe and Why Not Sneeze Rose Selavy, 1 911, reads: "If one places the little bird cage on Coffee Mill's 'frame1 one sees that the length of the cage is 21.6 cm (=[square root of (term)]3 x 12. …

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