Marcel Duchamp at the Age of 85

An Icon of Conceptual Photography

In 1945 Marcel Duchamp published a photographic self-portrait in the American magazine View, which depicts him, according to the caption, ‘at the age of 85.’ In reality he was, at the time, only 58 years old. Thus far the circumstances surrounding this ‘staged photograph’ were unknown.

A recently discovered script by Friedrich Kiesler is published in this book for the first time, in which he describes in full detail how he assisted his friend Marcel Duchamp to style himself as a senile artist-philosopher in front of the camera of New York photographer Percy Rainford.

The well-known Duchamp expert Herbert Molderings interprets Duchamp’s self-portrait as an innovative, conceptual use of photography. The camera was used as a ‘time machine’, but not, as customary, to capture a present moment, but rather to look into the future.

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