Project 18

Art Brussels : Cut - Copy - Paste — Part I

OV project is delighted to present his eighteenth project at ART BRUSSELS 2019


< The domain in which Dada came nearest to fulfilling its promises is undoubtedly the “collage” (which we take in the widest sense of a conglomeration of different materials). The dadaists found their ideal means of expression in the collage, and explored all of its possibilities. Historically, the invention of the collage preceded the beginning of Dada by several years. But there is practically no relation, neither in the conceptual creation nor in the form, between the glued papers of a Picasso, for example, and the unconstituted syntheses of a Schwitters; not more than between the orphic, descriptive collages and the incredible collisions of incompatible labels which were the sign of Max Ernst’s arrival at the oniric firmament of the future French surrealists. To be honest, no group, neither before nor after Dada, ever took greater advantage of the resources of this new technique.

The majority of the great Dadaists have been exploring the “collage” with their own personal temperament; and this procedure, apparently so impersonal and disincarnate, identified its author as exactly the pen or the brush.

The compositions create in Zurich by Hans Arp in 1915 are a reflection of the luminous soul, the serenity, the elegance and the underlying humour of the Alsacian painter; the moustache added by Duchamp to a reproduction of the Mona Lisa (L.H.O.O.Q.), turned this ready-made into the epitome of the Dadaism, but at the same time revealed the calm aggressivity of a man who carried economy of means to the level of a dogma.

Another extreme was his complete opposite, his colleague Picabia, a joking cameleon who revealed himself in “La Femme aux Allumettes” (1920) or in the satirical “Hidi”, made of feathers and pieces of bamboo. Without knowing the craggy face and the guttural voice of Raoul Hausmann, one can easily imagine him observing his Berlin assemblages.

On the other hand the “retouched” painted papers by some like Johannes Theodor Baargeld and Max Ernst - “Le Roi rouge” (1920) are characteristic of the freedom of spirit of the Cologne Dadaists; just as Schwitters’s works attest the obsessional character that this new plastic language : the famous and today iconic “Merzbau” !

This brief analysis of the collage - assemblage is only one example out of hundreds of an extraordinary appetite for invention common to all the actors of Dadaïsm and Surrealism.

In contrast with certain great painters, satisfied having discovered and imposed their own style, but unable thereafter to go off on another tack, Duchamp and his followers made a point of regularly creating something new.

“Dada hates repetition which breeds taste.” >

Historically Dada and Surrealist practices remain a « leitmotiv », whose artists from all sides ; throughout the 20th century and still today have appropriated and re-appropriated with often their proper and own language and creativity.

OV 18, entitled CUT - COPY - PASTE, will present artworks including mixed media compositions, found-objects, ready-mades, assemblages and collages - drawings wherein juxtapositions and dissonances create ideas, non-sense and automatic items opening self-reflexion offering the spectator his own free interpretation.

The artworks bring together images, texts and objects – mediating between ‘part’ and ‘whole’, narrative sequences and condensed time. The emphasis throughout the display is on the small-scale, a very special and personal handmade practice. These qualities are reflecting not only literal examples of collages and assemblages, but also artworks where ‘collage’ is a special way of thinking rather than a physical procedure.
In their execution and variety, the project itself aims to a ‘collage aesthetic’ of simultaneous collision course and correspondence.

CUT - COPY - PAST joins together artists from the 1920’s till today :

Erica Baum, Max Bucaille, Nathalie Campion, Pierre Charpin, Stefan De Jaeger, Max Ernst, Fischli and Weiss, Fernanda Gomes, Elias Hansen, Georg Herold, Ray Johnson, Phillipe Jusforgues, Martin Kippenberger, David Noonan, Richard Nonas, Erik Olovsson (studio), Paul Lee, Francis Picabia, Ettore Sottsass, John Stezaker, Tribal Fetish, Philadelphia Wireman, ...

Ov Project Noise

Max Ernst

Ernst Copie
  • Fiat Modes (planche n°VII “Zurnevenkunst”), 1919
  • Lithographie
  • 43,5 x 32 cm (17 1/8 × 12 5/8 inches)
  • Examplary n°22

Philippe Jusforgues

Jusforgues Fiac 004 Copie
  • Sans titre, 2014
  • Collage sur photographie
  • 29,4 x 22,3 cm