Shigeko Kubota - Marcel Duchamp and John Cage [signed by Kubota]

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Shigeko Kubota - Marcel Duchamp and John Cage [signed by Kubota]

5,000.00

Marcel Duchamp and John Cage

By Shigeko Kubota

Takeyoshi Miyazawa, No date [1972]. No. 451 of 500. First edition. Presentation copy signed and dated by Shigeko Kubota on May 25, 1975. 8vo [landscape]. In blue cloth with Mylar covering and blue slipcase. Very good. Complete with 5’’ blue flexidisc. Photographs by Shigeko Kubota with text by John Cage. With former bookseller price and note on flyleaf in pencil.

This publication documents a public game of chess between Marcel Duchamp and John Cage taking place at the Ryerson Theater in Toronto on March 5, 1968, before a live audience. With a chessboard specially constructed to alter and control music played by collaborators like David Tudor, the match collaged the sounds of the musicians into a chaotic performance of music concrete. Additionally, images on TV screens were rigged to oscillate and change according to the movements of the game pieces.

Occuring just months before Duchamp’s death, this intermedia performance featured two of the giants of 20th century art facing each other in a game that obsessed both. Duchamp, a consummate expert, dispatched of Cage quickly, and retired early to the sidelines—and in fact the majority of the night was comprised of a match between Teeny Duchamp and Cage, who were locked in an hours long battle, much to the chagrin of the audience who supposedly slowly trickled from the concert hall amid the often discordant cacophony, until little more than the performers remained.

The book features photographs by Shigeko Kubota and textual scores/poems by Cage. It is signed and dedicated by Kubota, an important member of the fluxus movement whose most famous piece was the revolutionary feminist work Vagina Painting, in which she attached a paintbrush to her underwear and squatted to create a composition on the canvas beneath her. From the 1960s to the 1980s she also created a series of tributes and reflections on Duchamp’s work, much of which stemmed from their initial meeting in 1968, just prior to Cage and Duchamp’s chess match.

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