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Marcel Duchamp and the Architecture of Desire
Unsurprisingly, literature on one of the twentieth century’s most beguiling artists is exhaustive. Nevertheless, the subject of Marcel Duchamp’s flirting with architecture seems to have gone largely overlooked. Yet, from the carefully arranged plans and sections organising the blueprint of desire in the Large Glass, to his numerous pieces replicating architectural fragments and his involvement in designing exhibitions, evidence of Duchamp’s fascination with architectural design is far from hidden. The architectural design that his work assimilates, though, does not only appear in built architecture or the normative profession. As his unconventional architectural influences indicate – Leonardo, Niceron, Leqeue and Kiesler – he was interested in the architecture of desire, re-constructing the imagination through drawing and testing the boundaries between reality and its aesthetic and philosophical possibilities. Marcel Duchamp and the Architecture of Desire traces the links between architectural design and Duchamp’s work through three themes: allegory, visuality and desire. Through these themes, I define and theorize an alternative drawing practice positioned between art and architecture that predates and includes Duchamp.
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