Anti-Dada Dada: Kurt Schwitters and Merz

Sun Nov 6
The Goethe-Institut
Arts, Literary
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Sunday, November 6, 2016, 6:30 p.m.
Anti-Dada Dada: Kurt Schwitters and Merz
Location: Goethe Institut, 530 Bush Street, Art Lounge (entrance street level), San Francisco, Admission Free with Maria Makela, Jed Rasula, Mel Gordon and Jerome Rothenberg. Moderator: Adrian Notz

with a special presentation of Ursonates by Florian Kaplick

An evening exploration the life and work of one of the most enigmatic and complex artists of the post World War One period. Kurt Schwitters interests encompassed literature, collage, sculpture, architecture, and performance, and placed him at the nexus of several European Avante-gard movements. He was difficult to categorize and his brazen attacks on Nazism earned him the label of degenerate artist. Theorists and artists as broad as Walter Benjamin, Robert Rauschenberg, and Rem Koolhaas have all praised his work. We will explore his creative process, aesthetic development, the philosophy of Schwitter's very own one-man art movement known as "Merz," and his connections to Dada.

Jerome Rothenberg will offer a special presentation titled: pppppp: kurt schwitters’ poetry, performance pieces, proses, plays & poetics. He will draw here from the gathering of Schwitters’ assembled writings produced by himself & Pierre Joris in 1994, which he will both discuss & perform, with Schwitters’ own performances as a model. It was & remains Rothenbergs contention that Schwitters was a major poet & genre-buster, who “pasted words and sentences together in poems ... rhythmic compositions [that] created a kind of drawing ... in order to erase the boundaries between the arts.”

This event is part of the Dada World Fair. For more information, please visit


  1. The Goethe-Institut
    530 Bush St, San Francisco, CA