Anémic Cinéma

Marcel Duchamp created Anémic Cinéma, a film based on his Rotoreliefs, with Man Ray and Marc Allégret between 1924 and 1926. In her article of the same name as the film, Katrina Martin cleverly deciphers his spiral puns interspersed with these mesmerizing optical spirals. She further describes the dimensional function of Duchamp’s projection screen:

Duchamp thought of simultaneous reflection as a representation of infinity and often used glass or mirrors in his work as relevant to this idea. He constructed a special screen for the first showing of the film, which was a piece of translucent glass, like that used for a bathroom window, with a reflective mirror-silver backing. The projected light would penetrate some into the screen before being reflected toward the viewer, and the light then actually does what the film’s image suggests : it travels in-out with an infinite dimension.

  • Katrina Martin, “Marcel Duchamp’s Anémic Cinéma,” Studio International 189/973 [Jan-Feb. 1975]: 54.

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