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MODERNISM WITHOUT ORGANS: ANTONIN ARTAUD

Abel Gance, Napoléon, 1927. Production still. Marat (Antonin Artaud).

SINCE THE PUBLICATION of Peter Bürger’s Theory of the Avant-Garde, importantly inflected by Benjamin H. D. Buchloh and Hal Foster, we have understood postwar art as conditioned by the progressive recovery of the legacies of avant-garde artists: Duchamp, Schwitters, Heartfield, Höch, and Dada, on the one side, Malevich, Rodchenko, Stepanova, Tatlin, and Soviet Productivism, on the other.¹ Currently, the situation is redoubled, for we are as distant from the postwar neo-avant-gardes as the neo-avant-gardes themselves were from their prewar counterparts. Artforum’s fiftieth anniversary places us just shy of five decades from 1963, the year Marcel Duchamp’s retrospective at the Pasadena Art Museum exposed the breadth of his practice to a generation of Pop artists, and almost a neat century from 1913, the year of Duchamp’s first readymade, Bicycle Wheel. Yet despite decades of work

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