A Handful of Dust

Photography after Man Ray and Marcel Duchamp

  • Whitechapel Gallery - Exhibition - A Handful of Dust (7 June 2017 – 3 September 2017)

    Man Ray/Marcel Duchamp, Élevage de poussière, 1920, Courtesy © Succession Marcel Duchamp/ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2017, © Man Ray Trust/ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2017

Free entry

07 Jun - 03 Sep 2017

Galleries 8 & 9

Monday Closed
Tuesday 11am–6pm
Wednesday 11am–6pm
Thursday 11am–9pm
Friday 11am–6pm
Saturday 11am–6pm
Sunday 11am–6pm

A Handful of Dust

7 June – 3 September 2017

“Endlessly thought-provoking”
The Guardian

A Handful of Dust is a speculative history of the 20th century, tracing a visual journey through the imagery of dust from aerial reconnaissance, wartime destruction and natural disasters to urban decay, domestic dirt and forensics.

The exhibition features works by over 30 artists and photographers including Marcel Duchamp, Walker Evans, Robert Filliou, Mona Kuhn, Man Ray, Gerhard Richter, Sophie Ristelhueber, Aaron Siskind, Shomei Tomatsu, Jeff Wall and Nick Waplington alongside magazine spreads, press photos, postcards and film clips.

Conceived by writer and curator David Campany, the exhibition takes as a starting point the 1920 photograph taken by American artist Man Ray of Marcel Duchamp’s work in progress The Large Glass (1915–23) deliberately left to gather dust in his New York studio. First published in André Breton’s seminal Surrealist journal, Littérature in 1922 and captioned as a ‘view from an aeroplane’ by Man Ray, the photograph went on to appear in various journals, books and magazines, cropped and  contextualized differently each time, before the image was formally titled Élevage de poussière (Dust Breeding) (1920) in 1964.

Walker Evans, Erosion, Mississippi, 1936 Silver gelatin print 25 x 20 cm, Library of Congress press photograph, Collection David Campany, Handful of Dust Whitechapel Gallery 2017

Symposium: Notes on the Index

Sat 17 Jun, 2-6pm | £15/£12.50

Curator David Campany discusses notions of time, perception and the history of photography. Speakers include Brian Dillon, Margaret Iversen, Xavier Ribas, Rut Blees Luxemburg, Nick Waplington and Eva Stenram, moderated by Clare Grafik.

Robert Burley, Implosions of Buildings 65 and 69, Kodak Park, Rochester, New York [#1]  October 6, 2007 Pigment Print 76.2 x 99.06cm Courtesy the artists and Musée Nicéphore Niépce. Handful of Dust Whitechapel Gallery 2017

Curator’s Tour

Thu 20 Jul, 6.30pm | Free, booking required

Curator David Campany leads a free tour of the exhibition, tracing the cultural significance of dust and its relationship to photography. Booking required.

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