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Allegories of nature, culture, gender : dialogues with Marcel Duchamp's Étant donnés-

Title:

Allegories of nature, culture, gender : dialogues with Marcel Duchamp's Étant donnés-

Daubner, Ernestine (2000) Allegories of nature, culture, gender : dialogues with Marcel Duchamp's Étant donnés-. PhD thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

This dissertation consists of three interrelated dialogues with Marcel Duchamp's provocative installation, Étant donnés: 1 ̕la chute d'eau, 2 ̕le gaz d'éclairage (1946-66). By conducting dialogues with this artist's "givens" from three different positions, I make evident the intersubjective or interactive nature of the art encounter: how the ideological and conceptual positions of the viewer or interlocutor serve to re-write or re-present that object. My first dialogue is from the position of a Duchampian scholar who "strips bare" the artist's philosophical (patatautological) position and dialogic imagination. This stripping reveals the artist as encoder of two allegorical modes. My position as a feminist historian of art and culture informs my other dialogues with Duchamp's allegories of nature, culture and gender. A collision between my givens and those of the artist, the second dialogue exhibits Duchamp's Etant donnés ... as a series of specular games with Western epistemologies and histories that inscribe "woman" as the "other" of culture. In my third dialogue or "allegory of reading," I draw on the blindness and insights of Duchamp's gender games and disclose how they serve to perpetuate readymade givens and thus to undermine his patatautological position. At the same time this deconstructive dialogue is an intervention which brings to the fore an array of obscured histories of women as agents of culture as well as diverse feminist perspectives that create a slippage in the boundaries between female-nature and male-culture.

Divisions:Concordia University > School of Graduate Studies
Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Authors:Daubner, Ernestine
Pagination:xvi, 514 leaves : ill. ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Theses (Ph.D.)
Program:School of Graduate Studies
Date:2000
Thesis Supervisor(s):MacKenzie, Catherine
ID Code:995
Deposited By:Concordia University Libraries
Deposited On:27 Aug 2009 13:15
Last Modified:08 Dec 2010 10:18
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