Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Rauschenberg has a show in Florence in 1953:

"One of the more eminent Florentine art historians wrote a long review of it, covering half a page in a local newspaper... His conclusion, after a good deal of scathing prose, was that the works of Robert Rauschenberg should be thrown into the Arno. Rauschenberg had the review translated. His first thought about its conclusion, he claims, was 'What a wonderful idea!' He was leaving Europe in a few days, and he had packing problems. Putting aside five or six of the objects to carry back with him on the plane, he bundled up the rest and, early on the Sunday morning before his Monday departure, he went walking along the Arno until he came to a fairly secluded spot where the water looked sufficiently deep – he didn't want somebody fishing the objects out later; it was important to him that they 'really disappear.' Nobody saw him throw them in, and not one of them has ever been seen since. Rauschenberg insists that he was not making a Dadaist gesture, but he did say that he thought it might make the eminent art critic feel uneasy if he knew about it, so before leaving the next day he wrote him a note saying, in effect, 'I took your advice.'"

from Off The Wall by Calvin Tomkins