gratuitous image
16 January 1996

Ah, Duchamp-san!

Every art history book I've read states with grim certainty that Marcel Duchamp died on Wednesday, 2 October 1968. Today I discovered that he is in fact alive living somewhere in England and/or Japan. He doesn't look bad for 108, if he really is that old. (If researchers had the wrong details of his alleged death they probably don't know if he really was born on 27 July 1887.)

Art history is a collective hallucination.

I discovered the news about Duchamp after a meal in a Japanese restaurant in Edinburgh. Leafing through the Japanese-language weekly Eikoku News Digest, I found a photograph of Duchamp. By turning Japanese, he has cleverly eluded the legions of admirers who hounded him until his "death."

I need to find someone who can read kanji so I can find out what Duchamp has been doing in the last decade or two. After today's experience, I'll be skeptical of the Eikoku News Digest's version of events. You can't always believe what you read or what you see.

yesterday | index | tomorrow
©1996 David Glenn Rinehart