A Telegram From Marcel Duchamp by David Prowler
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Design by Diane Burke & Robert Langenbrunner.
Signed by the author.
“The artist chooses a thing and says look at this.”
David Prowler’s artist book came from the unexplained, unquestioned impulse to hunt down an ephemeral trace of Marcel Duchamp’s signature. Invested more in the chasing-after a conceptual kind of autograph rather than seeking an expensive collector’s bit of art history, Prowler settles on the Telegram: a commodified edition of the artist’s envelope, his signature unverifiable authentic but a copy all the same. Which, if Prowler is really seeking out a trace of Duchamp’s hand, isn’t really a problem. The artist book itself proves to be fittingly self-referential: fragmentary meditations on the artist (Duchamp and the proverbial variety) are faced with illustration pages, the imagery purposefully mismanaged in scale or resolution to translate Duchamp’s “readymade” principles into a form that, instead of a pedestal or picture frame, is necessarily tied to the principles of bookmaking and encountering page.