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HomeContentsVisual indexesMarcel Duchamp

Marcel Duchamp 
Gelatin silver print, with applied color 
30.0 x 20.7 cm (11 13/16 x 8 1/8 ins) 
Metropolitan Museum of Art 
Ford Motor Company Collection, Gift of Ford Motor Company and John C. Waddell, 1987, Accession Number: 1987.1100.99 
Curatorial description (Accessed: 16 October 2017)
Without its paper wrapper, Duchamp's cigarette becomes something else entirely-a potent signifier of sexuality stripped bare; a naked assemblage of chance in which the liberated tobacco rejoices in disarray. It may also represent a visual pun on the term découpage, which literally means "cutting out" but is more broadly defined as a mixing of elements-for instance, the text and images in George Hugnet's book of poemes-découpages for which Duchamp created this image. In the book, a page of text and symbols in different typefaces is juxtaposed with pasted images and scraps of text from other printed media. Poetry and collage work together-or against each other-to simultaneously create and undermine meaning through a seemingly random grouping of disparate elements. 

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