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Marcel Duchamp in His Own Words

This documentary on one of the most important artists of the twentieth century opens with the familiar image of Duchamp studying a chess board - he had a lifelong passion for chess. In recordings made in 1968 in Cadaques, Spain, shortly before his death, Duchamp discusses his work, jokes and reminisces, saying, `I discarded brushes and explored the mind more than the hands.' This informative and charming film is divided into sections: `The Art' explores Duchamp's early drawing, painting, and Cubist period, including Nude Descending a Staircase and The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even (Large Glass); `The Object and the Gesture' is concerned with his `readymade' objects, `readymade reciprocals,' and Dada period, including humorous puns such as Mona Lisa's `LHOOQ'; and the final section chronicles the last major work of his life, Given: 1 The Waterfall, 2 Illuminating Gas. This mixed-media assemblage of different materials, techniques and forms was erected at the Philadelphia Museum of Art in 1969. Built to be viewed by only one person at a time, it was produced in secret in the last years of Duchamp's life. Lewis Jacobs approaches the artist through a visual style that reflects Duchamp's energy and humor. Using extensive collage, documentation of his work, photographs, and film footage of the artist, he creates a visual complement to Duchamp's fascinating dialog.

`... Duchamp's narration provides a feeling of intimacy; the viewer is treated to his views on various periods in early twentieth-century art ... commands the viewer to pay attention and watch carefully so as not to miss anything ... an excellent and very important addition for any art library. Just to hear Duchamp's comments alone is worth its purchase. Highly recommended'. Video Rating Guide for Libraries, USA

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Order number: 564

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Institutions 1*:
Colleges, Universities, Museums, Galleries, Corporations
Institutions 2*:

Schools, Public Libraries, Not for profit community groups.
Private Home Use:
U-Matic*: $545
Beta SP*: $763
16mm Film*: $1526
*includes public performance and lending rights

Available worldwide

Marcel Duchamp Nude Descending a Staircase

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Credits Director
Lewis Jacobs

principally by Marcel Duchamp
34 minutes
Recommended audience age range 14-adult

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