Duchamp as Curator

Marcel Duchamp’s Curatorial Practice: His Work, Contemporary Exhibitions, Museums, Private Collections and Publications
Symposium at Mercedes-Benz Contemporary Berlin

April 25th — 26th 2017
Mercedes-Benz Contemporary

Marcel Duchamp made exhibition practice one of the most important parts of his work. Curatorial gestures and concepts, which determined the staging of his works and allowed him to move away from canonical definitions of the artist; publications of photographic documentations of his New York studio; themes, contributions and layouts for art magazines; activity as a consultant, juror and staging curator for exhibitions in the contexts of American modernism, Dada and Surrealism; the exertion of a powerful influence on important private collections of his time – Duchamp exhausted all conceivable aspects of exhibiting and collecting. While deliberately distancing himself from given structures of artistic work, he approached a concept of curatorial practice as an aesthetic medium that is today well established. According to the pointed thesis of the symposium and the publication here, he was one of the first ‘artist curators’ and, thus, decisively influenced the reception of his own work as well as the art historical development of exhibition practice. Duchamp gave the multiple possibilities for perception and open perspectives of interpretation of his oeuvre, via the staging, reproduction and multiplication of his own and others’ works, a new conceptual direction, one which defined a turn in contemporary art. Principles of exhibition practice became decisive factors in the constitution of a work.

This publication features essays of following authors:

Akiko Bernhöft
“Time and Again Duchamp Knocks at the Door:” The Dynamics of the Reception of Duchamp by John Cage and Michael Asher in the 1960s and 1970s

Eva Fabbris
“The First Time an Artist Subsumed an Entire Gallery in a Single Gesture:” Brian O’Doherty Interprets Marcel Duchamp and His Surrealist Shows

Elena Filipovic
A Museum That Is Not

Gerhard Graulich und Kornelia Röder
On the History of the Duchamp Research Center, Schwerin

Susanne M. I. Kaufmann
The Marcel Duchamp Collection and the Serge Stauffer Archive at the Staatsgalerie Stuttgart

Eva Kraus
André Breton, Marcel Duchamp and Frederick Kiesler in Curatorial Correlation: The Surrealist Exhibition of 1947

Katharina Neuburger
Marcel Duchamp and the Société Anonyme

Gesine Tosin
»Dearest Richard …« Richard Hamilton and Marcel Duchamp

Renate Wiehager
Duchamp als Kurator und Autor für die Société Anonyme 1920 bis 1950. Autobiografie und Kunsttheorie in nuce.

Renate Wiehager
Entwurf einer Chronologie der von Marcel Duchamp kuratierten Ausstellungen und Sammlungen 

Sandro Zanetti
Kunst der Indifferenz. Duchamps Sprach- und Schriftinszenierungen

Coordination & organization: Wiebke Hahn, Kathrin Hatesaul, Nadine Isabelle Henrich



  • Duchamp as Curator

    Duchamp as Curator

    Marcel Duchamp’s Curatorial Practice: His Work, Contemporary Exhibitions, Museums, Private Collections and Publications

    Renate Wiehager for the Mercedes-Benz Art Collection, Katharina Neuburger, Snoeck Cologne, 2017



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