Friday, November 26, 2010

From the archives: Kurt Schwitters

Trust me when I write that it hasn't been an easy week. I haven't found one interesting idea knocking around in my brain, or come across something to blog about. Nada. I blame the Victorian State Election. It has had me in a funk. Guys? Thanks for all the personalized mail, especially that letter from Clare from Northcote who looks like a mum, just like me, describing her 'values'. I don't think I'll open another letter from that suburb unless it's addressed by hand. To save you from a paragraph about my bedroom curtain (I'll save that for another dry spell) I thought the surrealists might be the right tone for Election Day. But then I remembered the Dadaist artist and graphic designer Schwitters and his crazy Merzbau project. He worked on it for most of his life in Germany, Norway and England. The English version is the only surviving example. It might just look like a pile of crap but in actual fact it was a carefully constructed interior – rooms and rooms called Grotto's – crowded with objects devoted to friends, the artist Hannah Hoch, and ideas, from the Gothic Cathedral to Cubism. Schwitters, had some real ideas, not just plans to send Year 9 students on a 2 week camp. For that we salute you.

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