"Who's Your Dada?": Com&Com Commission a Readymade Baby
By Maria Goldverg
posted: 04-30-11
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Com&Com's latest project offers to bring a work of art to life. Or perhaps, it would be more apt to say that they aim to transform life into a work of art, quite literally. Last month, the Swiss arts duo, comprised of Marcus Gossolt and Johannes M. Hedinger, proposed this unusual arrangement: they will pay a Russian couple, chosen from applications submitted online, $10,000 to name their baby "Dada." The conditions are simple: the couple must possess Russian citizenship and their baby must be due to arrive in September or October of 2011.

Com&Com, which initially stood for Commercial Communication, contend that their contest is more than a publicity stunt. Hedinger steadfastly claims that his group's desire to transform babes into "Dada" is an extension of the readymade concept—first coined by Marcel Duchamp in 1915, the readymade became a flagship for Dada art in New York. Hedinger pronounced of the group's ambition, "In many ways this is a project for life; we are building a new network for these children."

Hedinger appears to suggest that with the proper 'curation,' these children can be conceptualized of in alternate fashions, perhaps one that would even enable us to view them as curated works, and thus as art too. Like Dada, Com&Com want to shock their audience. And perhaps, also like Dada, they seek to propound a kind of art that, in the spirit of Dada and perhaps even in the rest of the avant-garde as well, is able to embody an inventiveness that resists ossification and truly sublates an old world museum culture, as it did at the turn of the twentieth century.

Gugusdada, the name of the project, is supposed to take place as a part of Moscow's upcoming 4th Biennale of Contemporary Art in September and October of this year. Com&Com, however, hope to broaden their scope, they hope to achieve the births of five or six "Dada"s around the world by 2016 for the centennial celebration of the Zurich nightclub that housed the beginning of the Dada movement in 1916, Cabaret Voltaire.

Those interested may apply by filling out this form.

More information can also be found on the Gugusdada website.

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