Marcel DuchampWhy Not Sneeze Rose Sélavy? 1921, replica 1964

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Artwork details

Artist
Marcel Duchamp (1887‑1968)
Title
Why Not Sneeze Rose Sélavy?
Date 1921, replica 1964
MediumWood, metal, marble, cuttlefish bone, thermometer and glass
Dimensionsunconfirmed: 114 x 220 x 160 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition Purchased 1999
Reference
T07508

Summary

Why Not Sneeze Rose Sélavy? consists of a small bird cage, fitted inside with four wooden bars, containing a thermometer, a cuttlefish bone and one hundred and fifty two marble cubes cut to resemble sugar lumps. On the underside of the cage, in black paper-tape letters, the title and date of the work have been affixed, with each word placed on a separate line:

WHY
NOT
SNEEZE
ROSE
SELAVY? 1921

Rrose Sélavy was Duchamp's female alterego. Her name reads as the phonic equivalent of éros, c'est la vie, which can be translated as 'physical love is life'. The character of Rrose first featured in Duchamp's work in 1920 when he signed a sculpture titled Fresh Widow (Tate T07282), 'Copyright Rose Sélavy 1920'… (read more)

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