Apropos of “Readymades”

Collected Items 06.06.12

In 1913 I had the happy idea to fasten a bicycle wheel to a kitchen stool and watch it turn.
A few months later I bought a cheap reproduction of a winter evening landscape, which I calledĀ Pharmacy after adding two small dots, one red and one yellow, in the horizon.
In New York in 1915 I bought at a hardware store a snow shovel on which I wrote ‘In Advance of the Broken Arm’.
It was around that time that the word ‘readymade’ came to mind to designate this form of manifestation.
A point which I want very much to establish is that the choice of these ‘readymades’ was never dictated by esthetic delectation.
This choice was based on a reaction of visual indifference with at the same time a total absence of good or bad taste … in fact a complete visual anesthesia.

Marcel Duchamp, ‘From the CatalogĀ Collection of the Societe Anonyme’, Salt Seller: The Essential Writings of Marcel Duchamp, eds Michel Sanouillet and Elmer Peterson (London: Oxford University Press 1975) pp. 141-2.

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