Marcel Duchamp’s ‘Nude Descending a Staircase’ (1912)

The dehumanization of the decapitated body featured heavily in photographic montage during the early 1900’s and perhaps reflected the rejection of the organic biological form in honour of the contemporary mechanical incarnations that engulfed society. This mechanical spirt is personified in Marcel Duchamp’s ‘Nude Descending a Staircase’ (1912). The replication of a photographic image was an area which deconstructed and defined critical inquiry (Stafford, 1997:82). Reconstructing the photograph within an oil painting to create movement and which was symbolic of motion was where Duchamp’s ‘Nude’ (1912) sourced Cubist and translated a diagram of pseudo-machine parts working together harmoniously. The painting symbolized the photographic image being layered to create a moving dimension.