2 thoughts on “The significance of Duchamp’s urinal

  • February 10, 2018 at 3:20 am

    Are you aware that it seems the urinal was submitted through Duchamp for exhibition by Elsa Von Freytag-Loringhoven under the pseudonym Richard Mutt. She had already produced readymades. In fact it appears to me that Duchamp probably invented the early history of readymades in the 1950’s, when all the other players were safely dead, to make it appear that he was the originator of the idea, rather than she. I am sure that this cheating would have delighted him far more than having prosaically come up with the idea himself. At that time, he sold at inflated prices to prestigious galleries 6 artist-certified replicas of the urinal, ensuring that the art establishment would suppress the truth if it ever came out, as it did in a letter he had written to his sister in 1917. YMMV

  • February 10, 2018 at 4:01 am

    And Elsa’s agenda may not have been the grand narrative for which Duchamp later appropriated the urinal, but a Dadaist/feminist commentary on the insular masculinity of the art establishment.

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