27 Feb 2010

Motion Frozen in Series [102] Duchamp: Nude Descending a Staircase (No. 2), 1912. Deleuze on Bacon, Painting Series

Note: This entry may not load correctly in Firefox, perhaps some other browsers too. Solution underway. Thanks for your patience.

[The following is quotation. My commentary is bracketed in red.]

Motion Frozen in Series

Marcel Duchamp

Nude Descending a Staircase (No. 2), 1912
The Louise and Walter Arensberg Collection, Philadelphia Museum of Art

Painting [102] of Deleuze's Francis Bacon: The Logic of Sensation

The levels of sensation would be like arrests or snapshots of motion, which would recompose the movement synthetically in all its continuity, speed, and violence, as in synthetic cubism, futurism, or Duchamp's Nude [102]. (Deleluze 2003: 29b)

Les niveaux de sensation seraient comme des arrêts ou des instantanés de mouvement, qui recomposeraient le mouvement synthétiquement, dans sa continuité, sa vitesse et sa violence : ainsi le cubisme synthétique, ou le futurisme, ou le « Nu » de Duchamp. (Deleuze 2002: 44b)

[Bacon describes the levels of sensation in his art. Deleuze offers a number of possible interpretations, before explaining his own. In this passage, he describes the levels as being phases of motion. According to Deleuze, Bacon was fascinated by Muybridge's decomposition of motions.

And we saw for example in Bacon's
Figure at a Washbasin how the figure's spasming body seems to be in more than one place in the image, as if successive positions are superposed. We compared it to an image of a vibrating string.

Étienne-Jules Marey overlaid successive phases of motion in a similar way.

E.J. Marey, Chronophotographs from "The Human Body in Action," Scientific American, 1914

Below is a photograph that evokes Duchamp's paintings.

Eliot Eliofson, Duchamp descending a staircase, photograph from Life Magazine (1952)

(Thanks www.uncg.edu)

We see the successive moments of a motion decomposed into segments that are presented as simultaneous. Deleuze suggests we find this also in Synthetic Cubism

Georges Braque, Woman with a Guitar, 1913

and in futurism.

Malevich, The Knife-Grinder (1912)

Goncharova, The Cyclist (1912)

(Again, thanks www.mariabuszek.com)

We might regard each layer of superposed motion to be a different 'level of sensation'. However, we will later see that Deleuze thinks instead that these areas and levels are matters of irregular rhythms.]

Deleuze, Gilles. Francis Bacon: The Logic of Sensation. Transl. Daniel W. Smith. London/New York: Continuum, 2003.

Deleuze, Gilles. Francis Bacon: Logique de la sensation. Paris: Seuil, 2002.

Deleuze, Gilles. Francis Bacon: Logique de la sensation. Tome II - Peintures. Paris: Editions de la différence [Littératures], 1981.

Images obtained gratefully from [in order of appearance]:

No comments:

Post a Comment