Thursday, February 24, 2005

The Original Object Has Been Lost

The Enigma of Isidore Ducasse

Man Ray designed The Enigma of Isidore Ducasse in 1920, an unidentifiable object wrapped in a horse-blanket and secured with a piece of rope. The vague form of the object concealed by the blanket suggests a sewingmachine. Man Ray made the object for the express purpose of photographing it. The photograph appeared in Breton's introduction to the first number of the magazine La Révolution Surréaliste, which appeared in December 1924. The original object has been lost. - Description from Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen Rotterdam

What remains behind from the Fugitive Gods? What lacunae in our collective memories? What faded traces, broken bones, doors swinging off their hinges? Ghosts in the grammar. Butterflies nesting amidst the bones. "The vague form of the object concealed" suggests, not some threading machine, but a massive Skull resting upon the stone. Heiroglyphs mistaken for scars... the original object... there... with the breath upon the surface of the water fading... there... down there on the bottom... written in the sands... it resonates with time.

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