Gives a chess clock to the participants, with which they can measure the five minutes.
maximum 5-minute lectures in brief
He is not present in person. His performance is given over the phone. The performance plays off the style of intentional circumlocution (cf. periphrasis as a rhetorical figure), which was a favourite thing with writers of the early 20th century much admired by Duchamp (e.g. Gertrude Stein, Raymond Roussel).
- Duchamp calls attention to the fact that “wherever we go, we must have art on our minds”
- the bachelor lifestyle propagated by Duchamp and connected to androginity is simply drawing on the love of comfort which seeks to leave unnecessary problems behind (he recommends this for Hungarian scholars specialising in Duchamp)
He reads out The Creative Act by Duchamp, in which Duchamp not only focuses on the role of the artist as medium but also introduces the distinction between creation and reception, which he calls coefficient d'art.
He talks about the “reference range” and the question of borderlineness, as well as to what point “a thing is what it is”.
- he interprets ready-made as the gesture of destroying the distinction between art and non-art
He primarily talks about ready-made.
He uses the parallels drawn between art and counterfeit money as his starting point.
- in ready-made conditions become reasons
- a parallel can be drawn between artistic processes and certain economic processes
- money is an abstraction animating a world process that has brought about a revolutionary change - (its essence is not direct imitation but replaceability)
- ready-made is the kind of counterfeit money made for the future.
She quotes Radnóti, who said about Kassák that he was not justified by his results but rather by his quests. Searching moves into today.
He reads out his prose poem.
Summa: “ready-made means finished goods”
- ready-made is not an anaesthetic gesture, since it does not seal but rather opens up “the mouth of art”.
- not everyone can make a ready-made
- Duchamp also tried to limit the number of ready-mades so that they would not be devalued
- Hungarian ready-made-s are paradoxically the opposite of Duchamp’s in that they are surreal and explicating.
Her performance was the descriptive analysis of Miklós Erdély’s work entitled Tavalyi Hó (Last Year’s Snow), with her starting point being the relationship between the title and the work.
"The message of a work is the emptiness that guarantees it." (quotation from Erdély)
He talks about the mass production of artworks as a result of which it is slowly becoming possible for two artists to create two identical works.
His main conclusion:
Sooner or later artworks are bound to become everyday things.
Essay entitled Decemberi tézisek (Propositions of December).
Culture is permeated with fear and a generally negative atmosphere. Avant-garde rejects this and emphasises that art must come from the future. There is no periphery and no centre, and the ones that are right are those that want to be in the fresh air. Fear makes people incapable of realising that there is another way to live.
He reads out the letter written by Tamás Szentjóby about free will and about a closed chain to be created from mutation, which would be consciousness.
Performance: For five minutes he reads out a blank sheet silently.
He claims that art is a ritual and magic activity, which applies to Duchamp but not his followers: He believes that the magical and the conceptual are not opposites. He quotes Sol LeWitt to exemplify that a concept artist is mystical.
Read-out action combined with a demonstration: he writes propositions on a bed sheet which he then explains: After the demonstration he covers himself with the sheet which he slightly flips at this heel and says “if I manage to create a flicker of light, the whole thing is not that hopeless”.
1. Art is not Duchamp, but Duchamp is art.
2. Help! I’m an artist.
3. Creative dichotomy (what I deny in one action I want to recant in another).
4. Reality (Art gives (you) a hard-on.)
With Duchamp it is more important what he does not do than what he does. He is s sculptor without making sculptures and a painter without painting pictures.
He draws a parallel between the ways of thinking of Duchamp and Beuys on the one hand and those of Duchamp and Picabia on the other. In the former he emphasises Duchamp’s originality and his act of creation despite tremendous destruction, whereas in the latter he highlights the “priestly nature” of Duchamp’s attitude as opposed to Picabia’s.
He tells a tale that he says was recorded by Duchamp.
Before launching into the tale he highlights some important events of 1913:
- Futurism – Boccioni: Unique Forms of Continuity in Space
- Chirico: The Philosopher and the Poet
- Malevich: creation of the first Supremacist painting
- Delaunay: creation of first abstract painting, with which he goes beyond Cubism
- Picasso: the only abstract collage of his oeuvre, entitled Head; wooden collage sculpture Guitar and Bottle
- Tatlin: Relief, the first Constructivist work
- Duchamp’s first ready made: Bicycle Wheel.
The tale: a king’s three sons who were each given a golden coin to buy something that would fill an entire hall of the king’s palace. The first one tried sand but ran out of money; the second tried with hay but ran out of money before he could fill the hall; while the third one manages to fill the hall with candlelight.
Conclusion: Duchamp lit the artistic space in a similar way, with the light of intellect.
László Földényi F.
He does not associate Duchamp with art but rather with the negative command to never repeat anything. Life cannot be repeated either. The world is chaos governed by chance and everything is unique and unrepeatable. Freedom is not the negation but the recognition of chaos. It is people who sneak rules into the world. Is the striving to create order a form of getting ready for death?
He reads out his poem entitled Cukrozás (Sugaring) composed for this symposium.
Endre Rózsa T.
Duchamp was a priest and a prophet – the prophet of silence (thick, condensed silence). He plays a radio performance by Tibor Hajas on a cassette player.
It is not true that art gains social significance, it is not true that it is not visual, and it is not true that it is constant euphoria. It is not true that everyone can be an artist and everything can be art. If it were so, it would be the catastrophe of an era devoid of values. What is necessary is to be allowed to join a circle. Duchamp was able to be an artist because he was allowed to join a circle.
(Other pieces related to the topic are the article by György Kozma in the literary periodical ÉS (Life and Literature) and a study about ready-made by Gabriella Újlaki)
(English translation by Krisztina Sarkady-Hart)