MACP faculty-at-large and Director of Moderna Museet Stockholm, Daniel Birnbaum shares a summer reading pick with Artforum
June 5, 2017
"Summer Reading" by Artforum
Considering the innumerable studies on Marcel Duchamp, it may seem unlikely that we would need yet another examination of his early boxes containing cryptic notes, the exhibitions he staged for the Surrealist group, or the weird assemblage hiding behind a wooden door at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. And yet Elena Filipovic’s The Apparently Marginal Activities of Marcel Duchamp (MIT Press) sheds new light on all those ephemeral and elusive endeavors that we might recognize today as 'curatorial.' Through a wide range of seemingly peripheral activities, Duchamp created the organizational support and framing devices for his more material works of art, works that emerged as “art” only once these other intangible structures were in place. Duchamp somehow produced his career backward; it’s fully legible only posthumously. And he knew this: He claimed that posterity would have a word to say. I imagine Filipovic’s book is the kind of posterity he was hoping for..."