Checkmate: Duchampian Chess Pieces, Now With Mustaches


Ever since I posted about them last year, and ever since the 3-D printing files disappeared, I've received a steady stream of emails asking how to get some of Scott Kildall and Bryan Cera's Readymake after Marcel Duchamp chess pieces.

Believing at the time that the set Duchamp carved in 1918 in Argentina was lost, the artists created 3D models from an archival photo. I pointed out that the set still existed somewhere. [Naumann's book actually lists it in Duchamp's Estate.]

Which, now it can be told that Kildall and Cera received a cease & desist order from lawyers for the Estate of Marcel Duchamp, claiming the 3D models, adapted from an unmarked photo of the set the French-born, naturalized American Duchamp carved for himself in 1918 in Argentina, infringed on the estate's French copyright. Which, please.


Kildall and Cera had a very respectful and reasonable discussion with all kind of lawyers and ultimately, with a sympathetic Duchamp heir. The result, more than a year later, is the happy announcement of Chess With Mustaches, a suitably Duchampian homage that steers through the international copyright swamp and straight into the safe harbor of parody.

l'échecs au cul

They are not currently available for download or printing. But I'll be keeping an eye out.

What Happened to the Readymake: Duchamp Chess Pieces? [kildall, thanks bryan cera for the heads up]
Previously: Readymake: And You May Find Yourself 3-D Printing A Marcel Duchamp Chess Set []

Since 2001 here at, I've been blogging about the creative process—my own and those of people who interest me. That mostly involves filmmaking, art, writing, research, and the making thereof.

Many thanks to the Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Program for supporting that time.

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