Brian O'Doherty

The last Duchamp Portrait by Patrick Ireland alias B. O'Doherty

Lecture given at the symposium "Image Wars and Image Floods"

Brian O'Doherty

Brian O'Doherty

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In 1966, Patrick Ireland (then Brian O'Doherty), asked his friend Marcel Duchamp if he could make his portrait. Duchamp agreed, and O'Doherty, an ex-doctor, recorded Duchamp's electrocardiogramm. He then designed an artwork which represented Duchamp's heart-tracing beating on indefinitely on an oscilloscope. While seen by some as a tribute, the Duchamp portrait contests some of Duchamp's primary ideas, and is in fact an anti-Duchamp gesture. This was one of several of what Ireland/O'Doherty called "Gestures" made in the following decade. these include an on-going photographic self-portrait (from 1969), "Wittgenstein 7H to 7B", and a compendium in a box, "Aspen 5+6" (1967), which has been called the first conceptual exhibition outside the gallery.

Artists / Authors



Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie Karlsruhe (ZKM) and Graduiertenkolleg "Bild-Körper-Medium" at the Staatliche Hochschule für Gestaltung Karlsruhe (HfG)


ZKM, Lorenzstrasse 19, 76135 Karlsruhe, Germany




The symposium "Image Wars and Image Floods" focuses on themes from the "iconoclash" exhibition which presents image conflicts both in historical situations and in the contemporary world.


, Nov 4, 2003



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