In Georges Ribemont-Dessaignes’s machine pictures, painted gears, shafts, and wires create obscure contraptions suggesting that the forces of production have run amok. The words included compound the enigma: the name of a Hungarian city, Szegedin, appears on Silence (1915), for example. For Ribemont-Dessaignes, like many other artists associated with Dada, performance was a key strategy. Dadaists held poetry readings, soirées and other live theatrical events. The artist’s sensational performances at a number of these Paris-held events revealed his combative side: he hurled insults at the audiences, promising to “rip out your spoiled teeth, your pummeled ears [and] your tongue full of sores.”
Photographed in the Museum of Modern Art in NYC.