Marcel Duchamp

21 Feb - 08 Mar 2009

© Exhibition view

"Artists throughout history are like gamblers in Monte Carlo and in the blind lottery some are picked out while others are ruined. In my opinion, neither the winners nor the losers are worth bothering about. This is a good deal for the winner and bad one for the loser (...).. It all happens according to random chance. Artists who during their lifetime manage to get their stuff noticed are excellent traveling salesman, but that does not guarantee a thing as far as the immortality of their work is concerned. And even posterity is a terrible bitch who cheats some and reinstates others, and reserves the right to change her mind again every 50 years."

Jean Crotti had earlier solicited an opinion on his work. And Duchamp, who held «no believes of any religious kind" in artistic activity appeared in a certain quandary . If art is thus subjected to the whims of chance, it is the persistent doubt on the existence of an absolute criteria on artistic creation. Can one pay close attention to the paintings by the writer/boxer Edouard Archinard?

Artists like to assert their claim, assimilate, or reinterpret those that preceded them. How do we look at the work of the young Villon reinterpreting Manet; of Andrew Mania appropriating Carl van Vechten ; on those contemporary artists renewing painting with a return to a pictorial tradition filigreed in surrealism, and making as much reference to the irony of Picabia and his fellow dadaists; to the abstraction of Man Ray; to the hint of tragi-eroticism in Bellmer. Is it not the intention of an artwork to develop an aesthetic language outside of time, between filiation and rupture ?

Without definite guideline or any didactic regards, "reproduction rigoureusement exact" / « rigourously exact reproduction », is not a reexamination, it is an exhibition in which the line of intention will be left open to judge by the spectator.

Tags: Jean Crotti, Marcel Duchamp, Andrew Mania, Man Ray