PRINT April 1971

Unveiling the Consort: Part II

IN 1912 MARCEL DUCHAMP DISCOVERED that all works of art conform to five types of sentence structure: A) Simple sentences B) Compound, complex and ambiguous sentences C) “Ready-made utterances” D) Elliptical sentences and E) Sentences with some disagreement between subject and predicate. He realized that as art these sentence structures have a particular diachronic relationship to each other, thereby defining the historical trajectory that modern art was to follow for the next six decades.

If, as Claude Lévi-Strauss maintains, myths function phonetically at the lowest level of articulation, syntactically and semantically at the next level, and through unconscious cultural discourse at a third level of articulation, then quite probably the same is true of art. There are, however, fundamental differences between the communication modes. Any writing or string of spoken words subjected to

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