April, 2022

202208Apr14:3015:20A little game between “I” and “me”: Marcel Duchamp, Rose Sélavy and the construction of authorship14:30 - 15:20

Event Details

When: Friday, April 8, 2022 | 14:30 – 15:20

Where: Arts Center Auditorium

Organized by: the Art History Society


Abstract of the presentation

In 1920 Marcel Duchamp moved to the invention of a female alter ego named Rrose Sélavy. Rrose Sélavy would make her first appearances in a series of photographs by Man Ray in 1921. Incarnated by Duchamp in drag, these now iconic photographs have often overshadowed Rrose Sélavy’s role in Duchamp’s life and work. Yet, there is a significance to Sélavy beyond her existence as mere photographic image: her less acknowledged dimension as a creative subject. In fact, already from the early 1920s, Sélavy emerges as the creator of a variety of Duchamp’s artworks, becoming eventually a persistent authorial figure throughout the artist’s career. Examining her presence in Duchamp’s oeuvre as well as her encounters with the artist’s Dadaist and Surrealist peers, this lecture will explore Sélavy’s position within Duchamp’s creative process, his strategies of authorship, and how her invention relates to cultural connotations of masculinity and femininity in the modern era. 

Bio of the speaker

Dr. Christos Asomatos is an art historian and researcher based in Athens, Greece. He received his MA, MLitt, and PhD in History of Art from the University of Glasgow, United Kingdom. His research focuses on the relationship between the political and the aesthetic in the modern and the contemporary era, with emphasis on the politicization of fine art practice since the 1990s. He is also a founding member and editor for the independent literary publishing house Hyperidean Press.