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The Language of "Expatriation"

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"The Language of 'Expatriation'" places the language games of Marcel Duchamp in relation to the artist's exile during the years of the First World War. The essay argues that Duchamp's self-professed "spirit of expatriation", through which he conceptualised his decontextualisation from dominant systems of conventional identity (including the pervasive culture of nationalism), was negotiated at the level of artistic form. Pieces including The, Erratum Musical, and With Hidden Noise released upon language the force of "becoming" – articulated by Duchamp, related to Bergsonian philosophy, and resonating with Deleuzean theoretical insights – which intertwined identity and difference in a mutually transformative and infinite cycle. The resulting internal mobility that was established within Duchamp's artistic practice expatriated language from its basis in repetition, thereby opening up a new modelling of indeterminate existence beyond the rule of equivalence, habit, and tradition.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 15, 2006

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