By Duchamp, Marcel; Moffitt, John Francis; Duchamp, Marcel
A desirable ebook demonstrating the impact of alchemy and esoteric traditions at the mature paintings of Marcel Duchamp
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Extra info for Alchemist of the avant-garde : the case of Marcel Duchamp
Art is, therefore, for the Symbolist Artist-Theoretician functionally a religious art, and the concrete visual sign of its pseudoreligious intention is abstraction. The historical situation of the Esoteric Tradition visibly infected all levels of Occidental modernism. The late James Webb (1946–1980) was the most accomplished historian of the Esoteric Tradition and the author of a monumental study collectively called The Age of the Irrational. As he repeatedly emphasized, Occultism has always been of particular interest to the modern artist.
Occult knowledge of the One represents what the Occultists call “Timeless Wisdom,” what was called in the Renaissance a philosophia perennis, which, like a universal solvent, cannot contain any single deﬁnition of itself. According to these ubiquitous thought patterns, only the Imagination is real. Given this, any analogy conceived by the unchecked Imagination is as valid as any other pseudoscientiﬁc proof of metaphysical Correspondence between material (base) reality and the (superior) Other World, a concept inﬂuentially articulated by the eighteenth-century Swedish seer Emanuel Swedenborg.
Besides “cosmic energy,” especially common are perceptions of “spirit,” generally perceived as ﬁre or light, or some other kind of luminosity. ” As is typically explained, all things progress or “evolve,” and are mainly comprehended by means of dialectical, paired opposites: male-female, light-dark, verticalhorizontal, etc. ” As an apparently logical extension of such dialectical perceptions, Occultists endlessly afﬁrm that “things above are as they are below,” meaning that Mind and Matter become One.