In night lonely peers-: moon-riding!
” Not daring “to fart nor shit,” this bourgeois prig keeps his door locked, to her “silent glee” for she recognizes this as “a feint-he kept it locked [out of fear of sex] . . . -not for fartscare-or contempt.”104 From God to her detachable penis sculpture to the description of her lover ?eeing with “abject loathing” from the stink of her farts (and her sex), the Baroness with tactical brilliance exposes again and again the limitations of bourgeois as well as avant-garde-modern industrial-age as well as modernist aesthetic-value systems. As Morgan’s two installations suggest, both industrialism and aesthetics are circumscribed by the desire to eradicate or at least contain the stench of being human, as well as the speci?c smell of the other (whether it be an African sculpture or the female body).
well-it seemed to be as wellborn as I had supposed it to be-soundless- but that was its sly treachery . . . on which I had not counted. Slowly but irrepressibly it began to spread its onion scented wings through my dress up to my nostrils! . . . I put it up to fate-I hoped it would escape notice- it wasn’t penetrating nor in any way blatantly vulgar-but-it was de?nitely present. . . . With a touch of mischievousness I watched the expression of his fastidious features to see the knowledge born. . . . But it really grew more voluminous than I had anticipated. . . . I wanted to escape-I was walled in by this atmosphere that had [made] . . . me prisoner of my own vitals-when-in speechless questioning gaze he turned to me-as to an adder. . . . I began to snicker and giggle-about the only wellbred manner possible to save the situation after it had gone that far. [The climax was reached] . . . when, with a look of almost abject loathing-embarrassment, insulted virtue-he detached himself from me-stalking past me-his suffering nose in the air-towards his room- shutting and locking the door . . . all of a sudden I saw the whole little narrow pitiful piece of tightarshole that he was, felt the vulgar tactlessness of his own bourgeois behavior, the utter lack of ?exibility of the prig meeting an unknown situation.
channeled and ?ushed away in traditional accounts of New York Dada and modern art in general. It is, ?nally, the dysfunctionality, mis?ring sparks, and escaping odors emanating from the leaky borders of New York Dada’s machines and electrical systems that point to what I am arguing to be the most radical aspect of its practice: the con?ation of image and action in a lived Dada that, in its most extreme manifestations (such as the life/work of the Baroness), exults in rather than sublimating the terrifying, irrational ?ows that neither industry nor aesthetics can ever fully contain.
Elsa becomes increasingly contemptuous of her lover after this, linking his persnickety rejection of her farting body to the hypocritical pretensions of the art world; she connects the “vulgar odour of the mortal fart” with “the high re?ned odour of immortal artatmosphere
I have twenty countries in my memory and I drag the colours of a hundred cities in my soul. – Arthur Cravan, c. 1915 City stir on eardrum-. pale-with beauty aghast- too exalted to share! – Baroness von Freytag-Loringhoven, c. 19171
In their neurotic creative excesses, both the Baroness and Arthur Cravan exempli?ed the way in which machine-age rationalism in World War I-era urban centers in some cases produced rather than suppressing or containing neurasthenic subjects (see ?gs. 4.1, 4.2). In the poetic effusions quoted here, both writers convey a sense of embodied immersion into the byways of urban modernity, with the “city stir on eardrum” and a myriad of urban milieus dragging horizontally across the soul, viscerally and radically challenging the urban wanderer’s (and, by extension, the poems’ readers’) sense of bodily integrity. 2 I want to argue here that the artist-city relation is the conceptual and material site where the relationship between art and the social can best be explored. It has recently been remarked that the body and the city reciprocally map-become metaphors for-one another. As Steve Pile puts it in his book The Body and the City, “both the body and the city are intensifying grids for simultaneously social and psychic meanings, produced in the mobile, con?ictual fusion of power, desire and disgust.” 3 If the body and the city interrelate through a kind of discursive and psychic yet material interface, as scholars such as Pile and Elizabeth Grosz have argued,4 then one way of understanding an artist’s work, an artistic