Marcel Duchamp

In The Infinitive

This is an English typotranslation by Richard Hamilton and Ecke Bonk of Marcel Duchamp’s The White Box and includes over 100 reproduced facsimiles of his notes. During the period in which Duchamp was struggling to affirm the dominance of mind over hand in the creative process, he habitually recorded his thoughts on any available scrap of paper. Duchamp’s writings are unique in that the premeditated form of their initial publication shows them raw, spontaneous and unpolished.

The first notes to be published were produced in a limited edition and printed under Duchamp’s direct supervision, at his own expense. The resulting loose documents were contained in a box bound in green flock-paper. The Green Box which was admired for its form and perversity and loved as a work of art. Since the publication of The Green Box in 1960, advances in computer science have bought the tools to bring his The White Box to a wide audience.

It is Duchamp’s description of what a work of art might be that endures: art is the depiction, the token, the emblem of something in his head, the messenger that carries the meaning. He emphasises how language is an integral part of the slow fabrication.

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