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Élevage de poussière (Dust Breeding)

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  • Date: 
    1920 / Posthumous print, 1982
  • Technique: 
    Gelatin silver print on paper
  • Dimensions: 
    Image: 15,5 x 28,3 cm
  • Category: 
    Photography
  • Entry date: 
    1988
  • Observations: 
    Entry date: 1988 (from the redistribution of the Museo Español de Arte Contemporáneo [MEAC] collection)
  • Register number: 
    AS07534
  • On display in:
Towards the end of World War I, during Marcel Duchamp’s exile in the United States, his famous work La mariée mise à nu par ses célibataires, même (The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even) known as Le grand verre (The Large Glass), 1915-1923, lay gathering dust and bits of material over long months abandoned in his New York studio. In January 1920, his friend and collaborator Man Ray took the photograph, which Duchamp named Élevage de poussière (Dust Breeding), and which was relabeled by the Parisian magazine Littérature, as Voici le domaine de Rrose Sélavy [...] Vue prise en aéroplane par Man Ray – 1921 (Here is the domain of Rrose Sélavy [...] View taken from an aeroplane by Man Ray – 1921), a bird’s eye view of a strange landscape of the domains of Duchamp’s alter ego, Rrose Sélavy. This mysterious image, so reminiscent of aerial war photography, shows the human geography distinguishable beneath the dust layers, the lead wire on the back of Duchamp’s work, particularly the chocolate grinder in the lower right. In the end, Duchamp cleaned off the dust except in a few areas of the work, giving it a new colour, and raising the principle of chance to the category of art.

Almudena Cruz Yábar

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