Tuesday, July 18, 2006

irony of ironies

Thanks to Sit Down Man, You're a Bloody Tragedy for leading me to this excellent Lissitzky resource whence we read of Lissitzky's work with Kurt Schwitters on the April-July 1924 issue of the Dada journal Merz:

The text, consisting of a foreword and captions for a series of paired images, calls upon artists to set aside the machine in favor of "natural" forms such as crystals and plants, and argues that art follow principles of organic growth, economy, and balance. [emphasis mine]
That I think very nicely illustrates the mis-reading of Modernism that has tainted Modernist studies ever since. Crystal and plants ? And here I thought modernism was about freedom, you know ? Just do whatever you want, dude.

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