Journal of Surrealism and the Americas, Vol 4, No 1 (2010)

Out of Field (Fuera de campo): Marcel Duchamp in Buenos Aires

Graciela Speranza


This essay is an excerpt from Fuera de campo: Literatura y arte argentinos después de Duchamp (Edition Anagrama, 2006). The book opens with a reconstruction of Duchamp's nine months stay in Buenos Aires in 1918. Proposing a “Duchamp effect” on Argentine literature and arts as a kind of narrative thread, the book then focuses on three central transformations in the arts of the twentieth century: the impact of reproduction, the conceptual turn, and the interaction of visual and verbal representations in literature and the visual arts. Each chapter of the book opens with a “close up” of one or more of Duchamp's works, and then reads important Argentine writers and visual artists through this lens, from Borges, Cortázar and Manuel Puig, to Ricardo Piglia, César Aira and Guillermo Kuitca.

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