Marcel Duchamp's "Rrose Selavy" Descriptive Essay by The Research Group

Marcel Duchamp's "Rrose Selavy"
Describes the artist's performance of Rrose Selavy.
# 24681 | 2,250 words | 9 sources | 2002 | US
Published on Apr 11, 2003 in Art (Artists) , Gender and Sexuality (Transgender)

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Describes the artist's performance of Rrose Selavy. The Rrose persona. Its network of meanings. Relationship of Rrose to DuChamp's readymades. Commodity aspect of readymades. Postmodernism. Visual portrayal of women. Boundaries of sexual differences. History and ideas of assisted and semi-readymades. Notion of artistic function. Cites specific examples.

From the Paper:

"Marcel Duchamp's project is as complex, ambiguous, and rich as anything undertaken by any artist of the twentieth century. One of the most elaborate networks of meaning started by Duchamp derives from his 'performance' of Rrose Selavy, the female personification first used as a signature, mocked up in a series of posed drag photographs by Man Ray, and then persisting as an alter ego for Duchamp in many subsequent projects. The spectacle of a male artist who adopts a female persona and employs 'her' in the titles of various works, as the 'author' of other pieces, and simply as a sort of working fiction in his life raises questions of many kinds. Certainly the eroticization of the communication between artist and spectator, the performative nature of gender, the nature of the patriarchal art system and art history, and the meaning of authorship of works of art are all implicated in ..."

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