Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Dada (pt. 5)

These would not be the last ludicrous work of Dadaist artist Marcel Duchamp.  He later pulled the stunt of turning his entire career into a sort of mock-performance piece with the creation of his female "alter ego," Rrose Sélavy—a sound-alike for another somewhat lewd sentence in French: "Eros, c'est la vie" ("Eros/eroticism, that's life").  By the 1930s, however, Duchamp would remove himself from the art world and pass on to different areas of social interest, particularly playing chess.
Having effectively accomplished the deconstruction of art, Dada slowly receded, and the movement itself ended by about 1922.  The spirit of the movement, however, continues on to this day, and in the progression of art history, Western art could now delve deeper into the abstracts.  After the devastating conclusion of the First World War, the art world did plunge headlong into a new pool of possibilities and practices, foregoing the orthodox traditions of the previous styles and techniques.  Dadaism had meant it for social criticism, but these artists would treat their art seriously and honestly assess the situation of creative expression in the 20th century.
Ever the humorist to the last, Marcel Duchamp died of a heart attack in 1968 and was buried under the epitaph of his own choosing: "D'ailleurs c'est toujours les autres qui meurent" ("After all, it's only always other people who die").

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