David Zwirner is pleased to present an exhibition of recent and new work by Marcel Dzama, on view at the gallery's 525 and 533 West 19th Street spaces in New York. The exhibition will mark the United States debut of the artist's latest film Une danse des bouffons (or A jester's dance), which will be shown alongside related two- and three-dimensional work.
Described as a "Dadaist love story," Une danse des bouffons (or A jester's dance) is the artist’s fictionalized account of the ill-fated, romantic affair between Marcel Duchamp and Brazilian sculptor Maria Martins (who served as the model for Duchamp's last major artwork Étant donnés). In Dzama's film, using a recreation of Étant donnés, a mythological trickster awakens Maria Martins (played by Kim Gordon and Hannelore Knuts) from the sculpture. Finding Duchamp held captive and forced to blindly recite chess moves, Martins enters into the unknown game in hopes of saving her love. The role of the trickster was partly inspired by the Nigerian mythological god Edshu, recognizable by his hat that was colored red on one side and blue on the other, provoking confusion and argument amongst members of a community who would disagree on the color he was wearing. His mischief, while appearing to have a destructive effect, could also be perceived as allowing people to see that more than one perspective or answer exists.