Susan Berstler: email
This piece is a monument to Kurt Schwitters and his fellow dadists. Much
as he transformed his in-laws provincial house into a merzbau of mythic
proportions, "Becoming absorbed in art …" has taken on a life of its own.
Created from recycled plastic bags, the piece shows an obsessive
compulsiveness on the part of the artist as she piles layer upon layer of
color, texture and even text to form a coherent whole. The transformation
of the bags from trash to sculpture invites the viewer to expand their own
definitions of what is and is not art.
Anne Corrsin: email
In the spirit of Marcel Duchamp(and his alter ego Rrose Selavy) I feel my pieces reflect the artists playful and subversive attitude. “Hoi Polloi” touches on the issue of conformity in society (and the art world). It is also meant to be lighthearted.
The piece “Third Hand” takes a whimsical and surreal approach to the figure: with the irreverence of Mr. Duchamp in mind.
Melissa Glick: email
Inspired by Duchamp's rectified Ready Mades - found objects adorned, manipulated and
transformed. And by the fact that Duchamp loved to play chess so much his first wife
glued the pieces onto the board. "Opposition and Sister Squares are Reconciled", is
both a chess move and the title Duchamp used for his book on chess. This evocative
phrase combines chess, the ultimate intellectual exercise with the highly emotional
relationship of sisters. Perhaps a parallel can be seen between the war game and
sisters, in that competition can bring with it great respect for the winner.
Paul Gray's works are visual improvisations using found materials. Some of
his influences are Blues, Jazz and Tribal Art. "Talkin' Trash" is his
homage to Marcel Duchamp. It usually sits on the sidewalk outside his junk
store in Cambridge, MA where knowledgeable pedestrians comment on Marcel
and tourists take photographs.
Charlotte Ellen Kaplan
There is always something familiar in a work of the Dada movement,
something that we can relate to, and our predilection to grab onto that
sliver that we recognize just confuses us more. In order to set us up for
the intentional confusion, Dada artists appropriate and transform familiar
imagery and challenge our society's icons.
Mona Lisa Scrabble uses the image that Marcel Duchamp used in his "desecration" of a masterpiece of western art when he drew a moustache on
DaVinci's Mona Lisa. By using mass-produced charms of the Mona Lisa image,
I both honor and cheapen it. The psychedelic snails represent the same
treatment for the natural world. Otherwise, Scrabble is just something we
do to keep busy, making the same old words with the same old letters.
The viewer is challenged into the conundrum of recognizing the objects,
but never having seen them in this context before. What does it mean?
Perhaps it is interesting, and nothing else.
Kelly Kleinschrodt: email
The digital video, bubbles, is one of eight videos in the portfolio little deaths, which was originally conceived as a multi-channel video installation. The action unfolds as follows: a bubble tower, created prior to the sequence, appears in a close shot. The bubble tower vibrates and sways as each pop affects the bubbles adjacent to it. The tower becomes smaller and smaller until all bubbles have popped. bubbles is illustrative of a lifespan, of the literal decline and disappearance of a “body” over time. It points to the transitory nature of life and exemplifies the appreciation of physical experience joined with an awareness of its inevitable loss.
Spoken, Rrose Sélvay becomes “Eros c’est la vie” (sexual desire, that’s life). A Duchampian pun is at play with the phrase “little deaths”, as well. The “little death” is a French euphemism translated "la petite mort". Primarily a reference to a sexual orgasm or post-orgasmic fainting, a “little death” can also be a short period of transcendence. Likewise, in giving life to Rrose Sélvay, Duchamp submerged his own identity to gain insight on female sensitivities. The impulse to act upon something in order to simulate experience can suggest both pathos and beauty. Doomed by time and process, bubbles tracks the expenditure of life.
Lauren O'Neal: email
Using commonplace materials, such as chairs, lights, and coats, I develop
characters that possess an inner life of hopes and fears, wonder and
mischief. They inhabit the world as unheroic and often disorderly
presences—those “late for a very important date” types, who aim to pull it
all together but most of the time don’t quite manage. Their interactions
are often completely inane and ridiculous. The characters become art not
because I say so (or even because Duchamp says), but because they
themselves insist. Lacking well-pressed professionalism, they leak,
mumble, and sigh loudly at inopportune times, but have an awkward grace
all of their own. Through a blatant display of the absurd, the stuttering,
and the silly, I hope that my work can illuminate the anxieties we perhaps
all share about self, presentation, and the beauty of everyday
In short, I celebrate the birthday of Rrose Sélavy with socks.
Artist Ed Ruscha has said, "If Marcel Duchamp hadn't come along, we would
have needed to invent him...He discovered common objects and showed you
could make art of them...He played with materials that were taboo to other
artists at the time; defying convention was one of his greatest
Duchamp has been the subject of so many volumes of analysis that it's easy
to lose sight of the man and his approach to his work. Among his frequent
preoccupations were sex, money and wordplay. He claimed he gave up art so
he'd have more time to play chess and "to breathe".
While not oblivious to ideas and principles (and good at twisting and
subverting them), he left plenty of room in his work for fun. He is, after
all, the guy who put the moustache on the Mona Lisa, who drew a
self-portrait around a plaster cast of his cheek...with his tongue in it.