Anémic Cinéma - #1 - 1926 release - Rrose Sélavy-Marcel Duchamp

Alternate title: Spirals
Maker: Rrose Sélavy-Marcel Duchamp.
Assisted by Man Ray and Marc Allégret
Original format: 35mm silent film 1.33:1
New music: Gustavo Matamoros
Courtesy: Det Danske Filminstitut

Thought provoking and offensive are possible ways to interpret the ten optical discs and corresponding puns displayed in the film. The word play of French syllogisms gleefully collides with the protruding-receding optical illusions of the rotating spheres. Julien Levy called the film Spirals and screened it repeatedly at his NYC gallery during the 1930s. -Bruce Posner

Artworks by the fictitious Rrose Sélavy (1920-1950) first appeared in 1920 and subsequently Duchamp used her as his feminine alter ego. Her name implies she is driven by erotic power; the antithesis of Duchamp's cool, cerebral character. For this reason, Duchamp attributed certain works to her. Man Ray photographed Duchamp as Rrose on numerous occasions. -R. Bruce Elder/Bruce Posner

Arguably the 20th century's greatest art iconoclast, Marcel Duchamp (1887-1968) devoted his entire career to debunking pre-existing ideas about art, which he believed should appeal to the intellect rather than the senses. Encouraged by the storm of controversy sparked by his painting Nude Descending a Staircase, No. 2 at the 1913 Armory Show, Duchamp moved to New York in 1915. He was extremely active in the fledgling American avant-garde, editing several Dada magazines, inventing word games and puns, and designating ordinary objects as "readymade" works of art. During this period, he cemented a life-long working friendship with Man Ray. -Michael R. Taylor