Duchamp Symposium: Dr. Catherine Craft – National Portrait Gallery (10/14)

Duchamp Symposium: Dr. Catherine Craft – National Portrait Gallery (10/14)


…talks about it, you know, the importance
of Dada is that it was creative and this spirit of Dada, this eternal spirit that Linda just
mentioned, but mainly its creative aspect and its positive aspects in that it’s not
at all nihilistic or negative. So it seems that… and he goes on to talk
about sort of how all of these old Dada artists have embraced spirituality and mysticism and
gone on these other lines. But I think it’s interesting that it seems
to actually be working both ways. I mean. Yeah. It’s actually a really fascinating and complicated,
because we don’t really have time to go into this, but Huelsenbeck substantially changed. That manifesto reflects a substantial change
in what his previous position within Dada was. And in fact in this Janice interview that
Linda mentions, Duchamp even goes on a little bit, well, as much as he ever goes on a tirade
against people like Huelsenbeck and Arp and Richter who want to make something constructive
out of Dada and see it as something positive and creative. And he was like, well, that’s not what they
were doing at the time. And if they were, well that wasn’t very interesting. But I think there is definitely. I think it’s related also to political issues. Part of Huelsenbeck’s concern was very much
coming out of… he had become by the forties or even by the end of the thirties a very
strong anti-communist. And he was very uncomfortable with some, Berlin
Dadas especially, previous connections with negation and communism and those kinds of
positions. But it’s a very complicated history as well. Thanks. Should I go ahead and? Thank you. [Applause] As a sort of coda to Cathy’s remarks,
she has gathered much of this research into what will become two volumes – you believe
now? – and so we really look forward to this because I think she’s dived deep into
a part of Duchamp’s career that most people have skated past hurriedly wanting to get
to the late 1950s.

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