I thought of you yesterday...I dragged myself out to see the Dada exhibit at the Nat'l because it was the last day before they shut it down and took it to NYC and tired as I was, I couldn't see myself getting clear up there to see it. It was awesome. Probably the best art exhibit I've seen since the Darger show, and way heavier duty. Darger was like a Walk in the Grassy Park on no sleep after being up all night in a smoky bar (Which coincidentally was exactly the Other thing I was doing that weekend with a very dear friend, well one of the other things, and hm last wkend was Mother's Day which means it has been four (4) years now, amazing...but I degrass, or die on the grass, and u know all about that anyway.) This show was more like a surprise punch in the gut, it had that "oof!" quality of recognition and seeing stars. I knew or had forgotten that dada influenced so much of the koolture surrounding Us when we were young - Cabaret Voltaire, anyone? har har har...those old films on Night Flight. it was all art students running the bands, you know how Britain is with the art students, and we weren't exactly short of them back home even - rich kids from shaker heights mostly (c. and j.) with the odd eggzception (tina?), but you and me, we weren't art students, and we hadn't been raised with any frame of reference to put this stuff in. and since that time I've only ever seen oddments, fragments, moments here and there. having it all together at once, grouped into city streams, was overwhelming...seeing photos of the merzbau and listening to people "singing" in guttural tones takes me right back to being 18 and hearing meredith monk at 2 am and wanting to hide under the couch because it was so maniacal sounding and different and, well, SCARY, whereas if I'd been exposed to this stuff I wouldn't have been affected, I would have just put it in the mental category box.
and now i feel embarrassed to have been so unschooled, but back then i wasn't embarrassed, i was young and cocky (esp b/c we were In Love) and just wanted to grok the world and grab everything I missed growing up. I thought of you because you always sorta seemed to like that stuff, I dunno whether you pretended to get on my good side or whether you really *did* like it, maybe some of each? we both used to make collages and sometimes they weren't half bad. Everybody did that stuff, I used to draw (decently), you used to paint a little (Badly) (when I first typed that it it came out "you used to pain a little", heh, well that too i guess, everybody did that stuff also)...i was annoyed that the exhibition was so crowded and especially the two rooms dedicated to Berlin and anti-war. of course all the museum-goers in town are Into the Anti-war, because we have a War going on, ho-hum, I found it rather obvious and Heavy-handed. i was just telling someone that joke about how I am Apeylytical but the thing is, turning your back on it is a comment too, just like Ken Kesey said, "fuck it" (also one of Your own personal fave rave frases). Just like "No comment" in journalism really Is a comment. so yeah, that's how I feel, it's obvious like Oliver Stone, look away, look away, Dixieland. i was much more into some of the nice optical Duchamp and the Tauber puppets (applied arts yay) and the schwitters who twitters and the Bargeld who renamed himself after money and ooooohhhh, wooooahh, the Max Ernst. i previously knew who max ernst was only because he was the B-side to MoB's "Academy Fight Song" and also i'd seen a picture Here and there, maybe not the best ones and out of context. But seeing so many at once, and so detailed, and in context...Max Ernst's Greatness hit me like a ton of bricks. (<---sung to the tune of John Brown's Body)
afterwards I was so very tired that the walk up the mall was like Back to Bataan but it was worth it. that stuff may have only lasted for a couple of years but the shards of it were pretty eggzciting to two dumb kids from the provinces in 1983 and they're still eggzciting now.
this is a song from under the floorboards...