Date of Award

Fall 2007

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



Committee Director

Linda McGreevy

Committee Member

Julia Romberger

Committee Member

Scott Williams

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.H85 D44 2007


The goal of this work is to define the term Duchampian authenticity. I focus primarily on the artist Marcel Duchamp's works and philosophies in relation not only to traditional philosophies regarding authenticity but also in relation to his effect on authenticity's metamorphosis in popular culture and the mass market. I propose that the monumental paradigm shifts produced by Duchamp's conceptual and aesthetic experiments within the realm of visual art spread into our cultural bedrock, ultimately defining the consumer's ability to attain authenticity and identity through inauthentic and ephemeral commodities. Marcel Duchamp challenged traditional notions of the authentic experience and translated it into a subjective moment where history, philosophy, society, art, culture and commerce combine in a visual exchange. This negotiated experience, Duchampian authenticity, recalls at once a sense of the past, a need for identity that can be changed as fluidly as shirts, and the desire for original experience found within calculated and manipulated contexts.


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