Tag: Dada

The Exiles of Marcel Duchamp
by T.J. Demos


Marcel Duchamp was a famous expatriate, a wanderer, living and working in Paris, New York, and Buenos Aires and escaping from each in turn. But exile, argues T. J. Demos in this innovative reading, is more than a fact in Duchamp’s biography. Exile–in the artist’s own words, a “spirit of expatriation”–infuses Duchamp’s entire artistic practice. Duchamp’s readymade constructions, his installations for surrealist exhibitions in Paris and New York, and his “portable museum” (the suggestively named La boite-en-valise), Demos writes, all manifest, define, and exploit the terms of exile in multiple ways. Created while the artist was living variously in New York, Buenos Aires, and occupied France during the global catastrophes of war and fascism, these works express the anguish of displacement and celebrate the freedom of geopolitical homelessness. The “portable museum,” a suitcase containing miniature reproductions of Duchamp’s works, for example, represented a complex meditation–both critical and joyful–on modern art’s tendency toward itinerancy, whereas Duchamp’s 1942 installation design entangling a New York gallery in a mile of string announced the dislocated status that many exiled surrealists wished to forget. Duchamp’s exile, writes Demos, defines a new ethics of independent life in the modern age of nationalism and advanced capitalism, offering a precursor to our own globalized world of nomadic subjects and dispersed experience.

T. J. Demos is a Lecturer in the Department of History of Art, University College London and the author of The Exiles of Marcel Duchamp (MIT Press, 2007). His essays have appeared in such journals as Artforum, Grey Room, October, and Texte zur Kunst.

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Presence
A Conversation at Cabaret Voltaire, Zurich

Edited by Jürg Berthold, Kristina Hinrichsen, Philip Ursprung, Mechtild Widrich
With contributions by Elisabeth Bronfen, Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht, Michael Hampe, Mark Jarzombek, Amelia Jones, Tom Levin, Dieter Mersch, Rebecca Schneider, Peter Zumthor

Recently, the idea of “presence” has returned to the arts, humanities, and social sciences. In February 2013, in Zurich’s historical Cabaret Voltaire, which was central to the Dada movement almost a hundred years ago, an experimental international symposium took place that put presence under the microscope.

Presence: A Conversation at Cabaret Voltaire, Zurich is not a traditional post-conference publication but is conceived as a theatrical discussion of ideas between different speakers, both on and offstage. In contrast to transcribed conversations, monologues are interspersed throughout the book, acting like small, performative interruptions. The lively juxtaposition of both individual speech and colloquy is enhanced by theatrical conventions: characters enter and exit; stage directions mirror those found in the cabaret.

Design by Elektrosmog, Zürich, Adeline Mollard, Marina Brugger, Marco Walser

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Francis Picabia

Scrace Japanese Francis Picabia catalogue produced on the occasion of an exhibition at The Museum of Modern Art, Seibu Takanawa 21 July-5 September 1984 and The Seibu Museum of Art, Tokyo 9 September-21 October 1984.

Richly illustrated with many of Picabia’s works spanning his entire oeuvre in painting, drawing, text and print, with texts in Japanese, with some English and French.

Francis Picabia (22 January 1879 – 30 November 1953) was a French avant-garde painter, poet and typographist. After experimenting with Impressionism and pointillism, Picabia became associated with Cubism. His highly abstract planar compositions were colourful and rich in contrasts. He was one of the early major figures of the Dada movement in the United States and in France. His was later briefly associated with Surrealism, but would soon turn his back on the art establishment.

* Condition: Very Good – All care is taken to provide accurate condition details of used books, photos available on request.

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The Artwork Caught by the Tail : Francis Picabia and Dada in Paris
by George Baker

The artist Francis Picabia — notorious dandy, bon vivant, painter, poet, filmmaker, and polemicist — has emerged as the Dadaist with postmodern appeal, and one of the most enigmatic forces behind the enigma that was Dada.

In this first book in English to focus on Picabia’s work in Paris during the Dada years, art historian and critic George Baker reimagines Dada through Picabia’s eyes. Such reimagining involves a new account of the readymade — Marcel Duchamp’s anti-art invention, which opened fine art to mass culture and the commodity. But in Picabia’s hands, Baker argues, the Dada readymade aimed to reinvent art rather than destroy it. Picabia’s readymade opened art not just to the commodity, but to the larger world from which the commodity stems: the fluid sea of capital and money that transforms all objects and experiences in its wake. The book thus tells the story of a set of newly transformed artistic practices, claiming them for art history — and naming them — for the first time: Dada Drawing, Dada Painting, Dada Photography, Dada Abstraction, Dada Cinema, Dada Montage. Along the way, Baker describes a series of nearly forgotten objects and events, from the almost lunatic range of the Paris Dada “manifestations” to Picabia’s polemical writings; from a lost work by Picabia in the form of a hole (called, suggestively, The Young Girl) to his “painting” Cacodylic Eye, covered in autographs by luminaries ranging from Ezra Pound to Fatty Arbuckle. Baker ends with readymades in prose: a vast interweaving of citations and quotations that converge to create a heated conversation among Picabia, Andre Breton, Tristan Tzara, James Joyce, Friedrich Nietzsche, Jacques Derrida, Gilles Deleuze, and others. Art history has never looked like this before. But then again, Dada has never looked like art history.

George Baker is Assistant Professor of Art History at the University of California, Los Angeles, and an editor at October magazine and October Books. He is the editor of James Coleman (MIT Press) and a frequent contributor to Artforum.

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