June 18–September 11, 2006

The Museum of Modern Art


"Dada," was criticism of art in and of itself, so, to sit and criticize criticism is like the proverbial dust inheriting the wind. The movement was oh so brief!...and now the venerable venues the Metropolitan Museum and National Gallery of Art in WDC have tried to recreate the spirit of via its' objects its' films and to a lesser or greater degree it's now all but deceased personalities.


A straight line of painterly initiative in the white of removes shoots straight across the precipice of the Horseshoe Falls of Niagara as if it were the face of the "Mona Lisa" and in turn by replacing the moustache blinding out the eyes of a subject in an  wholly ugly and unholy and ugly Julian Schnabel kitsch portrait painting


"The assisted suicide of an "assisted readymade" hunters went after bison and brought them down- who took out the all terrain vehicle today? The assisted suicide of an assisted suicide painting.


One might also say that "Dada" was more of an idea than a movement (which produced a lot of objects); so that in the grand universal remembrance of it is inasmuch an idea than art history frozen before the bicycle wheel placed atop the step ladder or the viewer before the dizzying swirl of an optical puzzle wheel ( vortexing  cyclading like hypnotic down-pouring snow wind directed towards the windshield of a slowly advancing vehicle in a sudden epic blizzard or the kaleidoscopic patterns  in the waters of cirque de soleil's watery "O" production in the special construct  specifically built for the aqua spectacle at the Bellagio in Vegas) .


"Dada," was also about frolic and  spontaneity in the face of war and after the war the war being world war one was it not?- (whereas today even t-shirt wearers or button exhibitionists find themselves in police custody if their subtle protest make waves at the wrong event say a recently past GW Bush campaign rally)


In the initial event of entry through the New York side with the exhibition in a series of rooms entered like a multiply folded in and out piece of paper and divided into the six cities where it arose; New York, Paris, Zurich, Cologne, Berlin , and Hanover.  The exhibition was entered from one of either two entrances and into either the New York or Zurich gallery. It seems as such if each of these groups with their later to be stars grew gestated in their own cocoons or coconut.


In New York the fun began with the various Duchamp spectacles  and contraptions; bottle racks, hangers (in describing this Man Ray piece Michael Kimmelman in his NY Times review caleed it a "mobile"- however "mobile" was not actually coined as an art labeling term until describing works by Alexander Calder but  as is evidenced here was obviously existent in some form before it was claimed to have been invented by the Scottish American sculptor and it is intresting to note that one website claims that the mobile first appeared in the eighteenth century in Germany though there is no picture online of the work  you can travel to the museum in Deutschland and experience the perhaps original mobile for yourself) the famous urinal of r. mutt , the bicycle wheel atop the step ladder ,the optical games within glass with the bulging swirls of black and white chroma predating op art and Bridget Riley.  . 


This was when the world was still in love with motion or the thought thereof and Marcel Duchamp was constantly between Paris and New York and is (was) a hard figure to pin down though he had many an address and his travels are well documented


Duchamp's remains and is the kryptonite of twentieth century art and into the twenty first


Marcel Duchamp and his double in drag Rose Selavy—( I dream that I get Marcel Duchamp's autograph in Florida because Duchamp enters a gallery and I am with a cute boy who he gives an autograph to/' it is amazing that Duchamp is still alive he must be over ninety then go to a meeting of an art group  in a mall after being in passed in the mall hospital  corridor by groups of roller skating dancing champions pushing each other into elevators on swivel chairs then in the meeting I speak to the members some of whom I have met before including the art team liz-n-val I speak and report on what I am doing and have recently done including heading for Paris and getting Duchamp's autograph of which there are two like the ones which I once got for a friend and I from Jeff Koons I look and see which one I want and get it from the boy after getting a round of applause from the audience the local art association I return to my minivan in the mall parking lot and awake).


Master moves across the face of twentieth century art by Duchamp and those who came after him and then some not quite so masterful but is that what they are only moves not a  movement or movements and after all Frank Stella to paraphrase said most art is about movement---the Paris partition of dada ended effectively it is said with the publication of "The Surrealist Manifesto" by Breton as it is always at the end of something something begins)


Aesthetics sand prosthetics neo neo dada does not resemble neo-dada which resembles dada which is reminiscent of itself.



Lee Klein (2006-07)