Not to forget the imaginary sex polygon
In his writings, Duchamp refers to the fourth dimension and to mathematical theories of his time. “I found that the shadow of a three-dimensional object constitutes a two-dimensional form … and concluded, by analogy, that the fourth dimension could project an object with three dimensions, i.e. that all three-dimensional objects that we look at so naïvely are projections of four-dimensional forms unknown to us. In this spirit, I created the newlywed (la mariée, the bride, d.V.) in the Large Glass as a projection of an invisible four-dimensional form.” Marcel Duchamp die Schriften 1981, P 307, Regenbogen Verlag, Zürich
Regarding the bachelors, Duchamp says: “It was simply a matter of making a direct opposition to the theme of the bride, which I believe was given to me by those fairground booths that swarmed at the time, where mannequins, often representing the characters of a wedding, offered themselves to be decapitated thanks to the skill of the ball-throwers.”
Duchamp’s division of the Large Glass into a female and a male half is formally adhered to for my mental mappings project. In my installation, the female and male halves are not located vertically, but horizontally next to each other at the same height on a spatial axis in opposing places.
Two movies play out on the front sides: opposite – the previously female-defined half of Large Glass and deposit – the male-defined half with 9 bachelors as protagonists.
On an abstract level, the perception of space, time, simultaneity and their references to each other are negotiated by means of the double projection. In concrete terms, the viewer is situated between the two projections and can perceive either one or the other animation.
In deposit, representation dominates.
For deposit, I adopted the form and designation of the bachelors, but changed their surface or content. Against a chocolate-brown undefined background, Duchamp’s 9 bachelors are introduced individually as figures with their job titles. Then a series of short episodes appears in which the bachelors, in various ways, oust each other to bring them down. The episodes are reminiscent of a Punch and Judy show.
For opposite, the first impression of a still image is deceptive: Slowly, the contour fragments move and generate the scene. In view of the slowness of the generation, the viewer cannot succeed in receiving the movements as a whole in a unity or perceive a flow. He/she concentrates on movements of details and so the whole change gets out of sight again and again. In this way, a perception is created that generates delays: The perceived details always have to be transferred afterwards into the changed environment. Although all the changing information is visible and present, there must be an exclusion of information in the perception.
The film opposite is accompanied by vocal yodeling. The viewer is located between the two projections of opposite and deposit and can perceive either one or the other animation. She/he switches between the two films – the film not being viewed becomes the background of the film being viewed.
Acoustically, the yodel song forms a continuous carpet for both films, which is disturbed and interrupted by the selectively occurring sounds from deposit.
The reception of the work mental mappings demands a changing viewer positioning, which is decided by the viewer. At the same time, it creates a permanent exclusion of information with a perpetual intermingling of information sources. At the same time, the acoustic components provide a constant reminder of the excluded projection. Sounds punctuate the scenes.
For opposite, I drew 6 protagonists, all members of Einstein’s family – male and female, which merge into each other: Grandpa into Grandma, grandma into father, father into mother, Mother into Albert and Margot, Albert and Margot into Albert, and Albert into Grandpa.
The reception of the work mental mappings demands a changing viewer positioning, which is decided by the viewer. At the same time, it creates a permanent exclusion of information with a perpetual intermingling of information sources. Adding to these turbulences, the acoustic components provide a constant reminder of the excluded projection.