Back in Paris after World War I, Duchamp continued the work he had begun in New York, experimenting with machines that produced optical effects. When Rotary Demisphere is set in motion, the circles appear to pulsate toward the viewer. The copper ring around the dome’s circumference is engraved with French words chosen for the way their sounds echo one another: Rrose Sélavy et moi esquivons les ecchymoses des esquimaux aux mots exquis (Rrose Sélavy and I dodge the Eskimos’ bruises with exquisite words). Rrose Sélavy was the name of Duchamp’s female alter ego, who first appeared in 1920.
Gallery label from 2020