First Published in 1999. For the first time gathered together in book form, here are the influential writings of Moira Roth-articles, lectures, and interviews-on the two men who for so long embodied the very spirit of the avantgarde, Marcel Duchamp and John Cage. For almost thirty years Duchamp and Cage, who seemed to live on the border of modernism, and later, of postmodernism, alternately have fascinated, irritated, inspired, and daunted the author. Since her initial engagement with Duchamp and Cage in the early seventies, Roth increasingly focused on the work of many American artists-primarily women-only to return to Duchamp and Cage intermittently. At first, they were an inspiration for her writing and teaching. However, as they transformed themselves into classical figures, she came to reconsider and re-evaluate them. This collection offers a wide variety of literary forms-analytic, diaristic, art historical, and autobiographical-all of which Roth has used in her work. Collectively these writings form the subject of compelling and unique critical exchange between Moira Roth, who holds the Trefethen Chair of Art History at Mills College, Oakland, and Jonathan D.Katz, who is Chair of the Department of Gay and Lesbian Studies at City College, San Francisco.
"Moira Roth is a legendary art historian whose writings on the unconventional lives and difficult art of Marcel Duchamp and John Cage are models of critical accessibility. Writing in an engagingly personal diaristic style, these classic essays are collected in Difference/Indiffrence." -- Publishers Weekly
"The core of the book is provided by her two very influential and much cited essays of the 70's, "Marcel Duchamp in America: A Self Ready-Made" and "The Aesthetic of Indifference," amplified by a series of interviews Roth conducted -- she is a virtuoso of the interview form...These talks both nuance our picture of Duchamp himself and trace the ripple effect of his work and persona upon American art in the third quarter of the 20th century. They are followed by a more personal section in which Roth in effect interviews herself, reflecting-from the distance of the present-upon her own bittersweet tale of engagement/disengagement with the Duchamp phenomenon." -- Sheldon Nodelman of Art in America