Saturday, February 18, 2006

Dada on Display

Marcel Duchamp's urinal art, Fountain. Marcel Duchamp/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris/Succession Marcel Duchamp © 2005

"In 1917, Duchamp created one of his "ready-made" works -- again in the spirit of challenging what society defined as art. A mass-produced object -- in this case a sparkling white porcelain urinal bought from a plumbing supplier -- was turned on its side, signed, and called "Fountain." When Duchamp tried to enter it in a New York exhibition, it was refused. Paris museum director Alfred Packmon observes that Duchamp and the Dadaists were making the point that art was no longer just a nice bunch of flowers on the wall: "The artist is the person who decides what is art and what is not art.”
Dada was a moral and ethical response to the slaughter of World War I. In grief, rage, and despair, Dada used art to comment on the world, making art an indictment of the hypocrisies that wiped out a generation." NPR

Schedule:National Gallery of Art, February 19–May 14, 2006; The Museum of Modern Art, New York, June 8–September 11, 2006

Sunday, February 12, 2006

The Inspiration

February 8, 1926 - February 4, 1968
photo by Allen Ginsberg

• Utahns should embrace Neal Cassady. He was, after all, born if not on a Utah road, then at least beside it in in 1926. The inspiration behind Beat literature and the concept of free, spontaneous prose, Cassady led a lifestyle of exploration and encouraged others to do the same. Many say such encouragement eventually led to a little something known as the Hippie movement. The NEAL CASSADY BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION today marks his 80th birthday (he died in Mexico in 1968). Festivities include the lecture “Neal Cassady and The Beat Generation” by author Michael Schumacher at 11 a.m. at Weber State University’s Stewart Library. Later in Salt Lake City, John Sillito gives a brief presentation at the site where Neal Cassady once lived (48 W. Broadway) at 6:30 p.m.. Finally, a reading and celebration of Cassady’s life and work takes place at 7 p.m. at Ken Sanders Rare Books (268 South 200 East), with brief remarks by Michael Schumacher. All events are free. SLCW.