Saturday, June 20, 2009

Primiti Too Taa

Today would have been the 122nd birthday of Kurt Schwitters, born June 20, 1887 in Hanover, Germany.

Kurt Schwitters was one of the founders of the post-war Dada movement, and is generally acknowledged as one of the modern masters of collage. The material for Schwitters' montages, collages and assemblages came directly from the streets of Hanover, and while his work is always challenging and exlores an astonishing range of ideas, it was rarely specifically "political," which led the most dogmatic Dadaists to view him with suspicion. Eventually he rejected the Dada label and began calling himself and his artistic output "Merz," from a cut-up fragment of newspaper that had originally read "Kommerz".

The center of Schwitters' universe was his house in Hanover, which became his ultimate work of art. Between 1923 and his exile in 1937, Schwitters made collages and assemblages all around and throughout the walls of his home, which gradually became connected by string, wire, wood, and plaster. His house eventually became a "Merzbau," a huge and ever-changing sculpture he lived within.

Schwitters was driven out of Germany by the Nazis, and after a spell in Norway, he moved to England where he lived and worked until his death in 1948.

Among his many projects, Schwitters continually worked on and recited an epic-length sound poem, "Ursonate," between 1922 and 1932. This film is an animated excerpt of the poem called Primiti Too Taa, created by the animator Ed Ackerman and read by poet Colin Morton.


Anonymous said...

"Primiti Too Taa"

the link doesn't work... i get a "server not found" error...

Gurldoggie said...

You're right. That link seems to have died. Oh well.