Reverse Engineering Marcel Duchamp, 1989

learning from a master

During the making of "Étant Données" Duchamp created several works in plaster, one of which is "With My Tongue in My Cheek [1959]". The piece consists of a face in profile and a plaster cast of a cheek. The title insinuates that Duchamp is showing us his tongue in his cheek. This is not the case.

I reverse-engineered the plaster cast with my own tongue in my cheek and found that the tongue impression in Duchamp's original could not have been made by his tongue. It is in the wrong spot. Also, it is hardly possible to press one's tongue hard into the cheek long enough to have the plaster cast properly. There is no tongue in the cheek here, rather there must be an unknown object hidden in the cheek. First published in: Thomas Zaunshirm, ed., "Marcel Duchamps Unbekanntes Meisterwerk", 1986.

Duchamp's original

Tongue in cheek remake