Duchamp du film offers a new and challenging reading of the work and influence of Marcel Duchamp on modern and contemporary filmmaking, inviting to reconsider some experimental practices of film in terms of aesthetic proposals made by the artist throughout his career. Although the artist produced a single film, Anemic Cinéma (1925-1926), the figure of Marcel Duchamp appears throughout the history of the filmic avant-gardes of the 1920s and 1930s, as well as in postwar American art, up to productions that fall within the category of experimental and artist's film. Conceived by the Centre Pompidou film department, and curated by Enrico Camporesi and Jonathan Pouthier, under the supervision of Philippe-Alain Michaud, this program consists of six screenings as a complent to Marcel Duchamp's exhibition (La Peinture même, curated by Cécile Debray) held at the museum from September 24, 2014 to January 15, 2015.
Readymade: Material Unconscious
24 September, 19h, Cinema 2
Artist in attendance: Wilhelm Hein.
The Duchampian readymade translated into experimental film practices can be understood from the point of view of the material characteristics of the medium. The works presented in this program appear as the involuntary, or unconscious, products of a process that relies on the technological specifics of film (processing, printing, decay, et cetera). The place left to the artist’s intervention thus disappears in order to reveal the bare filmic matter.
- Eroticon sublim (Hans Scheugl, 1968, 16mm, coul, sil, 2')
- Palindrome (Hollis Frampton, 1969, 16mm, coul, sil, 22')
- Bad Burns (Paul Sharits, 1982, 16mm, coul, sil, 6')
- URF 16 (Luther Price, 2005-2006, 16mm, coul, sound, 6'
- Materialfilme, (Wilhelm & Birgit Hein, 1976, 35mm, bw, sil, 35') (accompanied live by Raphael Henard, with an original score composed for the event).
Readymade: Chosen images
01 October, 19h, Cinema 2
Crucial to the issues that the readymade objects engage, the notion of choice is decisive in Marcel Duchamp’s thoughts. If the use of pre-existing images by experimental filmmakers is generally defined through the category “found footage”, this film selection is particularly focused on the act of appropriating found images. Devoid of any artifices, the artists’ gestures seem to be here limited to the simplest operation of selection and presentation of these found objects, inviting thereby the viewer to radically reconsider the ontological nature of the chosen images themselves.
- Fleming Faloon (George Landow, 1963-1964, 16mm, coul, sound, 7')
- Works and Days (Hollis Frampton, 1969, 16mm, bw, sil, 12')
- Perfect Film (Ken Jacobs, 1986, 16mm, bw, sound 22')
- The Anatomy of Melancholy (Brian Frye, 1999, 16mm, bw, sound, 11')
- Dichtung und Wahrheit (Peter Kubelka, 1996-2003, 35mm, coul, sound, 13’)
Readymade: Performances of objects
08 October, 19h, Cinema 2
Artist in attendance: Bruce McClure (TBC). The screening will be followed by a conversation with Erika Balsom (King’s College, London).
Being the fundamental performance that allows the existence of any film, the phenomenon of projection is considered by the artists gathered in this program as the place of the enactment of the readymade. In the passing from one state to another, from the physical presence of the film strip to the immateriality of the image presented on the screen, the works shown here display some of the essential characteristics of the anaesthesia carried out by the Duchampian objects. Their disconcerting banality and their useless productivity stress – not without a peculiar sense of humour – the shiftings of sense dear to Marcel Duchamp.
- Zen for Film (Nam June Paik, 1962-1964, 16mm, sil, 8')
- Phi Phenomenon (Morgan Fisher, 1968, 16mm, coul, sound, 11')
- Textiles Through the Ages (Bruce McClure, 2014, 16mm, coul, sound (for modified projector), 17')
- Melting (Thom Andersen, 1964-65, 16mm, coul, sound, 6')
- zzz: hamburg special (Hans Scheugl, 1968, 16, 35, 70mm or CinemaScope, bw, sil, any length.
Games of chess
15 October, 19h, Cinema 2
Devoted to chess, this screening offers a contrasting perspective on the decisive influence that this activity had on Marcel Duchamp’s thought and artistic practice. Passionate Pastime (1958), directed by Hans Richter, deliberately adopts a documentary and didactic form – accompanied by the voice of Vincent Price – and retraces the history of the chess from its origins, passing through its presence in art history until modern art. Occasioned by a game of chess, the portrait of Marcel Duchamp by Jean-Marie Drot, Jeu d’échecs avec Marcel Duchamp (1964), gathers the artist and the journalist for an interview in which the retrospective look on Duchamp’s work blends with the pleasure of the game. By being a conceptual and coded organization, in which the intellectual stimulation overcomes the sensuous and visual aspect, chess illustrates perfectly the many radical choices made by Duchamp throughout his entire career. Aside from the theoretical implications that link his practice to the game, chess takes unmistakably part in the myth built by the artist: the myth of abandoning all artistic production to devote himself entirely to the game, a playful and unproductive activity.
- Passionate Pastime (Hans Richter, 1958, 16mm, coul, sound, 28')
- Jeu d'échecs avec Marcel Duchamp (Jean-Marie Drot, 1964, 16mm (transferred on video), coul/bw, sound, 56')
The bride and the bachelors
22 October, 19h, Cinema 2
Generally named “The Large Glass,” The Bride Stripped Bare by her Bachelors, Even appears to be one of the major and significant artworks by Marcel Duchamp. Elaborated by the artist over a period of eight years (1915-1923) and deliberately left unachieved, this artwork has widely influenced a generation of American artists at the turn of the sixties. Choreographed in 1968 by Merce Cunningham and recorded on film by the filmmaker Charles Atlas few years later, Walkaround Time (1973) honours Duchamp’s legacy by integrating to the set design – conceived by Jasper Johns – elements drawn from “The Large Glass.” Through this new arrangement of the work by Duchamp, the space of the representation turns into an exhibition space.
- Walkaround Time (Charles Atlas, 1973, 16mm, coul, sound, 50’)
Faire un cinéma – To make a cinema
29 October, 19h, Cinema 2
The only film directed by Marcel Duchamp, Anemic cinéma (1925-1926) bears the signature of his alter ego “Rrose Sélavy” accompanied by the fingerprint of the artist on the film strip. Shot with the help of Man Ray and Marc Allégret and taking as a starting point Duchamp’s kinetic sculptures, the film hinges on a collaboration principle dear to Dada artists. Entr’acte (1924) by René Clair, which offers another eloquent example of the gathering of many linked to this scene (Picabia, Satie, Man Ray, Duchamp), can be considered as one of the most emblematic portraits of that era. Later, when Duchamp moved to the States, he found again his European friends, and started at the same time meeting the American artistic milieu. In this context he participated with Anne Matta-Clark in Maya Deren’s Witch’s Cradle (1943). Left unfinished, the film was shot in the exhibition space Art of This Century (New York), which was arranged by Frederick Kiesler. Here the two main characters interact with the works from the Peggy Guggenheim collection. In a similar way to what happens in Maya Deren’s film, Hans Richter reactivates some artworks in his feature Dreams that Money Can Buy (1944-1947). The Duchampian rotoreliefs are here put into motion, for an oniric short sequence, and they show the decisive link between such discs (that were also featured in Anemic cinema) and the cinematographic apparatus. In Dadascope (1956-1961), Hans Richter’s anthology of performances, actions, and sketches, Marcel Duchamp stars next to other key figures of the Dada movement. Drawn from a note by the artist, the expression “faire un cinema” (“to make a cinema”), which gives the title to this screening, echoes an expanded view of film in which “directing” in the classic meaning of the term is not the only form of creating.
- Anemic cinéma (Marcel Duchamp, 1925-1926, 35mm, bw, sil, 7')
- Entr'acte (René Clair, 1924, 35mm, bw, sound, 20'
- Witch's Cradle (Maya Deren, 1943, 16mm, bw, sil, 12')
- Dreams That Money Can Buy (Hans Richter, 1944-1947, 16mm, coul, sound, [excerpt] 3')
- Dadascope (Hans Richter, 1956-61, 16mm, coul, sound, 40’)
Place Georges Pompidou
75191 Paris cedex 04
Metro: Hôtel de Ville, Rambuteau, Châtelet-Les Halles
Entrance fees :
Cinema: 6€, 4€ reduced fee, 2€ under 18, free with Laissez-passer du Centre Pompidou.