Exhibitions / Texts

International Colloquium



Idea and Project:
Adriana Rosenberg y Jorge Helft
Curator: Elena Filipovic
Production: Fundación Proa
General Coordinator:
Cintia Mezza
Assistant and producer:
Iara Freiberg
Exhibition Design:
Caruso - Torricela, Architteti
Catalogue Coordinator:
Debbie Grimberg
Sponsor: Tenaris - O. Techint


April, 2008
Marcel Duchamp in Buenos Aires

Viktor Obsatz
Portrait of Marcel Duchamp,
New York, 1953
Private collection, Buenos Aires
© Succession Marcel Duchamp, 2008, ADAGP/Paris, AUTVIS/Sao Paulo


Fundación Proa opens its new headquarters towards the end of 2008 with Marcel Duchamp: una obra que no es una obra “de arte”. Marcel Duchamp’s exceptional exhibition in Buenos Aires will continue into February 2009. The artist’s first great individual exhibition in Latin America is produced by Fundación Proa, which is also organizing an International Colloquium in November.

The name of the exhibition –Marcel Duchamp: una obra que no es una obra “de arte”– is inspired by Duchamp’s famous question, "How to make a work of Art that isn't a work of Art?" and gathers about 150 pieces between objects, works on paper, photographs, projections and documents. The exhibition highlights the period of his production between the creation of the readymade in 1913 (industrialized object as work of art) –a revolutionary step in Art History that broke up with artwork’s traditional concept and opened new perspectives for fine arts– and the last works of Duchamp.

The exhibition is curated by Elena Filipovic and goes over the artist’s most representative work, focusing in the break up of the artistic tradition as a whole.

The researcher and art historian remarks that the exhibition explores some overlooked aspects of the artist’s work, such as his optical and typographic experiments, his preference for reproduction and his performing attitude. Filipovic will introduce as well the almost unknown role of Duchamp as curator; cases in point are the exhibitions he designed between 1930 and 1960 for the surreal movement.

Important public institutions and private collectors, such as the Philadelphia Art Museum, Indiana University Art Museum, the Centre Pompidou of Paris, and the Moderna Museet de Estocolmo are lending famous key pieces such as La mariée mise à nu par ses célibataires, même also known as The Large Glass. Among other pieces in the exhibition, which answer the initial question about the limits and definition of the work “of art”, are his miniature portable museum renamed Boîte-en-valise.

Fundación Proa is also organizing the first Marcel Duchamp International Colloquium in Latin America, coordinated by Paul B. Franklin, Editor in Chief of the magazine Étant donné Marcel Duchamp. In this manner, the exhibition and its parallel activities will be a platform for research and discussion about contemporary art and the influence of Marcel Duchamp, not only in the visual arts field but also in music, literature, cinema, theater, and other performing arts.

Besides its showing in Fundación Proa in Buenos Aires, this unprecedented exhibition will be presented at the Museum of Modern Art of São Pablo (Brazil); both cities with which Duchamp kept interesting relationships. His trip to Buenos Aires between 1918 and 1919, still full of intrigues, is actually a cause of new investigations. His link with São Pablo goes back to 1949 when he presents a “curatorial” project to the Museum of Modern Art of São Pablo in occasion of its inauguration.

A carefully studied homage to Duchamp’s own exhibition practices, the show will be accompanied by a catalogue in Spanish and Portuguese versions, with English/French translations.

Fundación Proa is very pleased to launch its new headquarters with this extraordinary exhibition, setting a path for the future of its artistic proposals.

Phone: [54-11] 4104 1000