Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

Unwinding Duchamp: Mots et Paroles a Tous les Etages

By Glyn Thompson


Practice is defined as the exercise of a method or profession, and a treatise. Practise is defined as to practise tricks or artifices upon; to act upon by artifice\ud so as to induce to do or believe something: to impose upon, delude: to make trial of, practically.\ud \ud The practise that my practice reconstitutes was characterised by its executor, Duchamp, not as irony, ironie, but ironisme, the deployment of irony in debate.\ud \ud Socratic irony is defined as feigning ignorance in order to confute an enemy in debate.\ud \ud Irony is saying the opposite of what you mean. Duchamp's practice of the practise of ironisme did not then manifest itself in an art questioning its own conditions, by dissemblance, as is popularly believed, although it appeared to. The 'ironic' art which has been taken as the product of Duchamp's practice was then merely an allegorical appearance, since allegory, saying one thing and meaning something else, is cousin-germane to irony.\ud \ud Duchamp criticism has been informed by such misconceptions to the extent that, as late as 1989, David Hopkins, in his review of Kuenzli and Naumann's Marcel Duchamp: Artist of the Century could still point to the need for "a full length study of Duchamp which convincingly contextualises his de-essentializing project, rather than blithely using it as a pretext for exercising contemporary critical strategies.

Publisher: Fine Art, History of Art & Cultural Studies (Leeds)
Year: 2008
OAI identifier:

Suggested articles

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.