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The Decision Between UsArt and Ethics in the Time of Scenes$
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John Paul Ricco

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780226717777

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226113371.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 03 August 2021

: Name No One Man

: Name No One Man

(p.19) 1: Name No One Man
The Decision Between Us

John Paul Ricco

University of Chicago Press

This chapter is an extended theoretical meditation on one of the most famous (and infamous) works of 20th-century art: Robert Rauschenberg's Erased De Kooning Drawing (1953). The work is discussed in terms of Jacques Derrida's notion of the signatory trace and Derrida's earlier essay “Freud and the Scene of Writing,” in which he addresses Freud's “Note on the Mystic Writing Pad” and the role of erasure in any form of inscription. The chapter introduces the author's original concept of the “already-unmade” in contradistinction to Duchamp's readymade. It also discusses the Rauschenberg work as the result of a certain perverse and traitorous form of collaboration between the two artists, one who drew and the other who erased the former's drawing. Finally, a connection is made between the kind of space/scene shared by these two artists across the surface of a single sheet of paper, and the spacing that is opened up by the bodies of two men, one French, the other German, engaged in sex on a Paris rooftop, in Jean Genet's novel Funeral Rites (also 1953) set towards the end of the German occupation of France.

Keywords:   Robert Rauschenberg, Erasure, Drawing, Erased De Kooning Drawing, Signature, Trace, Already-unmade, Jacques Derrida, Jean Genet, Funeral Rites

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