Monday, September 29, 2003
i just tried to find a photograph of the installation online, but couldn't locate a link. so let me try to explain...it's in the Duchamp Room, just like the dream. there's a type of burlap floor covering in a small dark room connecting to the larger Duchamp Room. the far wall is a pair of very large, old wooden doors, like to a barn. there's a pair of holes for your eyes. when you look through the holes, you are looking on a scene which is outside, as though you're looking from the inside of a barn. the scene is a dead, raped (?) woman, in the grass. her naked body is in full view (except for the top of her head, so you cannot see her face), her legs spread open and hairless vagina closest to where you are standing.
in the dream i walked up to the doors, looked through the holes and it looked just like it always looks in the museum. the one difference i remember was that the sky was different, the clouds seem to slowly move, and i stared at them to make sure they were moving, and they were in fact moving. i was sure i hadn't ever noticed this before. then i decided i HAD to see who this woman was, i HAD to see her face. i decided to use my left eye in the right peep hole to get a better angle. and it worked! i could see her face, and it was the face of my mother! at first i was upset, but then calmed myself by convincing myself that my mother must have been the model. but then i realized that that was impossible since my mother was born in 1952, and Duchamp had begun the project in 1930 (in reality, he began the project in 1946 and completed it in 1966). that's about all i remember, standing there, trying to make sense of why and how my mother had been involved with making this installation.
yesterday i went to the museum with Hassen. she and i spent time in the Cy Twombly room to torture our souls a little, then we went over to the Duchamp Room. i told Hassen about the dream, and decided to use my left eye in the right hole, to see if i could see the face of the woman in the installation. no. you can't see her face. and of course the clouds don't move.
[ Duchamp, Marcel
View through the door of the installation:
Given: 1. The Waterfall, 2. The Illuminating Gas
Mixed media assemblage: an old wooden door, bricks, velvet, wood,
leather stretched on a metal frame, twigs, aluminum, iron, glass,
plexiglass, linoleum, cotton, electric lights, gas lamp, motor, etc.
242.5 x 177.8 x 124.5 cm
Philadelphia Museum of Art © 1999 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
/ ADAGP, Paris ]