The Objet after Stalin

“The Objet after Stalin” is a translation of the 1967 text “Sutarin igo no obuje (スターリン以後のオブジェ)” by Japanese artist Akasegawa Genpei. Published in the aftermath of Akasegawa’s trial for producing a photomechanical copy of a 1,000-yen note, this brief text traces a parallel between Duchamp’s revolutionary displacement of the urinal into an art museum in New York in 1917 and the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia that same year. Exploring the potentialities of the Surrealist-inspired notion of the artistic objet, Akasegawa wittily alerts to the dangers of bureaucratization of both revolutionary politics and revolutionary art.

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