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The title of this work can be translated as ‘What we all lack’. It derives from a quotation from the Communist philosopher Friedrich Engels used by the Surrealists on the cover of a magazine: ’What these gentlemen lack is dialectics’. Man Ray’s title implies that what we lack is not so much the philosophical tool of dialectics but imagination. Here the clay pipe and glass ball suggest the childhood pastime of blowing bubbles.

August 2004