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A Poster within a Poster


What seems obvious now
is that most artists would make better conmen —
to make art is no different from running
a complex pyramid scheme
staging an elaborate hoax
or faking one’s own mysterious death
No grand swindle on earth could be more brazen
than an act of fraudulence framed for public display
each perfect crime signed off by an airtight alibi
and a half dozen aliases for good measure



In response to Marcel Duchamp's '"A Poster within a Poster" for "By or of Marcel Duchamp or Rrose Sélavy," Pasadena Art Museum, October 8 to November 3, 1963' 1963.


See the artwork that inspired this poem in the flesh, along with more than 100 of Marcel Duchamp’s world-renowned pieces in ‘The Essential Duchamp’ exhibition at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, 27 April – 11 August 2019.


Go to Allison Gallagher's profile to read more poems