But I was perplexed.
Marcel Duchamp didn’t order a thing to eat at the café. I assumed it was because he was dead, requiring nothing in the way of sustenance from this earthly realm.
But the man behind the cracked glass of the restaurant, the same Marcel Duchamp I knew from before, was eating eagerly… between puffs on his cigar….
Marcel Duchamp sat silent. He seemed far away, lost in reverie. Then, he spoke of the death of art, which he described as “posterity, meaning art history.”
Turning to me, Duchamp said, “if you wish, my art would be that of living: each second, each breath is a work which is inscribed nowhere, which is neither visual nor cerebral.”
I did not know what to say. “If each second is a work of art, why the preference for chess?”
Every day after that, I stood outside The Italian Restaurant on Fourteenth Street until it closed. I didn’t even smoke. The guy from The Korean Market often came out to talk to me. I must have looked pathetic, staring into the cracked glass of an empty restaurant. I did this for a week. I also tried to sneak behind the restaurant and walk up the five flights of stairs to Marcel’s flat. I wasn’t able to do that. A barrier of wooden crates had been placed in front of the staircase, along with a placard: “STAY AWAY. WET PAINT”
1. How much of New York City has Duchamp walked? A walk is a way with one’s self – city or not – distance is innerness – (( duchamp knew this / as did few for he was one few of the many – )) duchamp = one of the very few who ever knew.