A presentation and interpretation of Duchamp’s final, posthumously revealed, work, installed in the Philadelphia Museum of Fine Art. ’Etant donnés’ is the title of Marcel Duchamp’s last work, which was only made known to the public after his death. It is a three dimensional piece which has to be viewed by peeping through two holes in a thick wooden door. The title refers to his notes for The Large Glass of forty years earlier: ‘Given: the Waterfall; the illuminating gas, we will…’ and the work is certainly some sort of reprise of the themes of that great ‘painting’. But what sort of a reprise? This is what this talk will try to answer.
Malcolm Gee is Senior Lecturer in Art History at Northumbria University.