Rose Selavy + Sara Moon
Posted on December 4, 2011 by Royal Rosamond Press
The really famous world artist, Marcel Duchamp, dressed in drag and called himself ‘Rose Selavy’. When he came to America, Vogue magazine did an article about him, and exposed him to celebrity status – American Style – where he lay his famous signature on his fans and other items in order to generate more fame – and money! This inspired Duchamp to render a check to pay for his dental work. His dentist took this check as payment understanding it would be famous one day and worth more the the cost of his work.
When Christine Roosamoon died, she left behind thousands of unsigned lithographs. Stacey Pierrot petitioned the probate court for an Estate Seal in order to apply the ROSAMOND signature from the Land of the Dead. This Seal of the Dead was a metal object that was applied to a the lower right hand corner of these prints, and the paper was raised up in a intaglio manner to make an embossed signature that can be read by the blind. This made Pierrot an Art Check Writer, who loves her bank! How can she blame Mr. Sara Moon for his attachements, his, blood-sucking?
Duchamp was a friend of Denis De Rougemont ‘The Prince of European Culture’ and co-founder of the European Union, that is rewriting its Constitution in order to keep the European Economy from collapsing. Rougemont may be our kinsfolk.
Sane folk understand the Banks of the World committed massive fraud on the people, while stupid Republican want to believe the Poor Parasitical People are to blame. This is because they are into Stupid Voo-Doo Economics, where we find Mr. Lucky Jesus handing out autographs like crazy to his – Chosen Ones!
Vogue refused to put Duchamp’s painting they commissioned on the cover of their magazine. Did in of Rena’s siters appear in Vogue? How about Steven Silverstein’s images? Did Duchamp understand fashion models were all the vogue, and thus he became one?
Rrose Sélavy, or Rose Sélavy, was one of the pseudonyms of artist Marcel Duchamp. The name, a pun, sounds like the French phrase “Eros, c’est la vie”, which translates to English as “eros, that’s life”. It has also been read as “arroser la vie” (“to make a toast to life”).
Sélavy emerged in 1921 in a series of photographs by Man Ray of Duchamp dressed as a woman. Through the 1920s, Man Ray and Duchamp collaborated on more photos of Sélavy. Duchamp later used the name as the byline on written material and signed several creations with it.
Duchamp used the name in the title of at least one sculpture, Why Not Sneeze, Rose Sélavy? (1921). The sculpture, a type of readymade called an assemblage, consists of an oral thermometer, a couple dozen small cubes of marble resembling sugar cubes inside a birdcage. Sélavy also appears on the label of Belle Haleine, Eau de Voilette (1921), a readymade that is a perfume bottle in the original box. Duchamp also signed his film Anemic Cinema (1926) with the Sélavy name.
From 1922 the name Rrose Sélavy also started appearing in a series of aphorisms, puns and spoonerisms by the French surrealist poet Robert Desnos. Desnos tried to portray Rrose Sélavy as a long lost aristocrat and rightful queen of France. Aphorism 13 paid homage to Marcel Duchamp: “Rrose Sélavy connaît bien le marchand du sel” [in English: “Rrose Sélavy knows the merchant of salt well”; in French the final words sound like Mar-champ Du-cel — Duchamp’s compiled notes are titled ‘Salt Seller’]. (Note that the ‘salt seller’ aphorism – “mar-chand-du-sel” – is a phonetic rearrangement of the syllables in the artist’s actual name: “mar-cel-du-champ.”) In 1939 a collection of these aphorisms was published under the name of Rrose Sélavy, entitled Poils et coups de pieds en tous genres.
The inspiration of the name Rrose Sélavy has been viewed to be Belle da Costa Greene, J.P. Morgan’s librarian of The Morgan Library & Museum (formerly The Pierpont Morgan Library) who, following his death, became the Library’s director, working there for a total of forty-three years. Empowered by J.P. Morgan, and then by his son Jack, Greene built the collection buying and selling rare manuscripts, books and art.
The late Ilmar Laaban – an Estonian poet, lecturer, polyglot and intellectual who died in exile in Sweden, who is often called “the father of Estonian surrealism”, wrote a collection of poetry called “Rroosi Selaviste” in Estonian that is based on wordplay and puns. Rroosi Selaviste (published 1957) is without a doubt one of his major accomplishments – a playful homage to his native tongue that not only shows the suppleness of the Estonian language, but also showcases Laaban’s virtuosity as a wordsmith.
Niandra LaDes, an alter ego by John Frusciante, was based on Rrose Sélavy. This character is also featured on the cover of Frusciante’s 1994 album Niandra LaDes and Usually Just a T-Shirt, which is a screenshot from a film by Frusciante’s then-girlfriend, Toni Oswald. This film remains unreleased, though a tradition among the avant-garde is to show the film in the proximity of items bearing a similar resemblance to a Duchampian “fountain”. [2
You know, I like signing all those things – it devalues them,” Duchamp confided to Richard Hamilton at the Pasadena Art Museum. (Tomkins 1965, p. 68.) A retrospective of his work had just opened (1963) and without reluctance Duchamp spent the morning signing papers, posters and other objects. His fame in America was greater than ever, and as Duchamp recalled himself he would sign anything in those days. (cf. Judovitz 1995, p. 162.) Many more shows were put together in the years to follow. Vogue interviewed Duchamp, museums organized round table discussions where Duchamp himself would frequently show up, and slowly a body of literature emerged that vainly tried to pin down the meaning of his work.
A little over a year after Pasadena, the same ritual took place: a show opened at the Cordier & Ekstrom Gallery in New York and an unknown man entered.(1) Philippe Bruno, more of a groupie than an art collector, had cut out all newspaper reviews of the show and pasted them in his copy of the show’s catalogue. If Duchamp could sign this please, maybe on the blank check that was attached with a paperclip to the page where the Tzanck Check was reproduced (facing L.H.O.O.Q.)…