Many of her legendary objects and works-such as the fabulous hanging object covered with buttons and urban detritus from c

The Baroness would, for example, fashion found objects into art, as in her piece Enduring Ornament (1913), a rusted industrial metal ring that she found on the street on her way to her wedding with the Baron (hence its optimistic title; ?g

The notion of mining industrial or everyday culture for material is also central to the Baroness’s practice, but the case of the Baroness-because of her capacity (and seemingly even desire) to lose control-makes an interesting contrast to that of Duchamp. 3.8). In strong distinction to Duchamp, who elaborately choreographed future appearances of his readymades and other works in art museums (and thus, resolutely, contextualized them as “art”), the Baroness’s readymade and assembled objects either selfdestructed or very slowly percolated out into the world (in the case of Enduring Ornament, in an eight-decade-long journey before their rediscovery by an art institution). 1918–1920, known only through its reproduction in Arturo Schwarz’s Almanacco Dada-have been destroyed or lost.59 Enduring Ornament was one of four objects that the Baroness gave to her friends Pavel Tchelitchew and Allen Tanner while they were living in Berlin in the 1920s. Almost lost forever to art history (they only recently resurfaced in a New York collection),60 these objects hardly served to con?rm the Baroness’s artistic authority (as Duchamp’s readymades did for him) nor to position her within canonical narratives of historical avant-gardism. The Baroness’s Enduring Ornament functioned less as a commentary on the circuits of exchange within the art world, then, than as part of the continuum of ephemeral, performative urban engagements and textual interventions that constituted her lived Dadaism (a “lived” Dadaism that thus, like all living things, contained within itself a built-in threat of mortality). I have already noted the Baroness’s propensity to comb the streets and department stores of New York for detritus and commodities with which to construct elaborate costumes to adorn her magni?cent form. The Baroness’s body itself, then, became a kind of “readymade” in action. In addition, she wrote what she called “ready-mades in poetry,” of which the dazzling poems collectively called “Subjoyride” are exemplary. In one of these poems she wrote:

Too, the sexual overtones of all ad and commodity culture are laid bare by the suggestion of the man with “largest mustard underwear” rubbing himself with “soothing pussywillow-kept clean with Philadelphia Cream Cheese

Borrowing brand names and the obnoxious, chipper tone of advertising lingo common to the burgeoning consumer culture surrounding her (New York City streets Dating-Seiten für Uniform Erwachsene were papered with billboards and notices already by the teens), the Baroness integrated this everyday language into her “Ready-to-wear-American Soul Poetry (The right kind).” Like Duchamp, she had a ?are with English that was born out of her fresh, newly acquired access to the language and her ability to make puns across two languages. Perfectly in tune with the kind of supposedly random choice outlined by Duchamp as the basis for his readymade appropriations, she deploys words as much for their sound and pattern as for their social or personal signi?cance. At the same time, meanings circulate around her imagery and on occasion congeal into revealing con?gurations: readymade (poetry) becomes “ready-to-wear,” with commodities (“better bologna’s beauty”) promising to improve the potential consumer’s life by bringing it “aesthetic” value (an aesthetic value which, we have seen, is in practice discursively opposed to any item with use value: here lie the paradoxical claims of advertising culture). ” Machine-age urban culture functions not only by rationalizing the worker but, as suggested earlier, by producing rational(ized) consumers and by con?rming traditional gender roles. As a woman circulating within this culture, the Baroness is perhaps especially well suited to noting the onanistic (“Just rub it on”) lure of advertising, which promises to deliver products that impossibly proffer both aesthetic and use value at once (while also shoring up traditional gender roles and concepts). From Enduring Ornament to her “Subjoyride” series of “ready-mades in poetry,” the Baroness’s practice brilliantly negotiated the urban industrial era’s multifarious