PRINT January 1972

Meaning in the Art of Duchamp, Part II

BEFORE WE TURN OUR attention specifically to the written notes, we should be aware of the content of one of them which adds insight to the particular function of the “Readymades” and other attendant works:

2 ‘similar’ objects, i.e., of different dimensions but the one being the reproduction of the other (like 2 ‘deck chairs’ one large and one doll-size) could serve to establish a 4 dim’l perspective=not by locating side by side in space3 but simply by considering the optical illusions produced by the difference of their dimensions.11

The artist makes it clear that a sculptural “Ready-made” and its shadow on The Large Glass are set into a sort of perspectival intercourse. But this is not the illusion of perspective; it arises only after reflective comparison of one plane of the work with another. The fourth dimension is the result not of physical juxtaposition, but of abstractly considering

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