Podcast #46: Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven

In this edition of the Dead Ladies Show Podcast, DLS co-founder Florian Duijsens introduces us to the eccentric Dada artist Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven. An eternally eclectic, German-born New Yorker, the Baroness was known for living life as a work of art, wearing a collage of found items, from tin cans to postage stamps to live birds, seducing almost everyone she met, and creating mind-blowing poetry and sculptures, yet never making any money off them. These days, she deserves some reclaimed recognition for creating the found art genre known as readymades, including a particular infamous sculpture credited to French artist Marcel Duchamp (or Marcel Dushit, as the Baroness called him.)

DLS other co-founder Katy Derbyshire joins producer/host Susan Stone to introduce the show, which was recorded in front of a live audience of enthusiastic college students as part of Bard College Berlin‘s student-organized Pankumenta festival back in 2019.

**This episode contains brief mentions of suicide and suicide attempts as well as some humorous profanity**

Also available on SpotifyApple PodcastsRadioPublicPocket CastsStitcherGoogle Podcasts, and Acast. You can download the transcript, created by Annie Musgrove, here.


Continue reading “Podcast #46: Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven”

Dead Ladies Show #9

Feeling poor and powerless? On 22 November, our ninth Dead Ladies Show resurrects three awe-inspiring women who battled poverty and patriarchy to achieve great things. Join us in your finest rags at 8 pm in the ACUD Studio to hear their amazing stories (in German and English) over a drink or two (alcoholic or non-). Entry will be €5 (€3 for the financially challenged), and, as always, invite your friends!

Your beloved co-host Florian Duijsens presents artist Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven, writer and translator Amanda DeMarco brings you director Barbara Loden, and filmmaker Marlene Pardeller shares the story of Tina Modotti. We expect you to go home feeling rebellious, riotous, righteous, and ready to change the world yourselves.

ELSA VON FREYTAG-LORINGHOVEN was one of those eccentric dames we know you just love to love. A Dada artist who married a penniless busboy baron and lived in grinding poverty in New York and Paris, she is now thought to be the real inventor of the famous “readymade” claimed by Marcel Duchamp. One of her outfits consisted of a bra made from two tomato cans and green string, a small birdcage complete with canary hung around her neck, a large number of stolen curtain rings worn as bracelets, and a hat decorated with vegetables, all worn with a red coat over the top. Elsa was art.

BARBARA LODEN was an ace movie director.

TINA MODOTTI, as a teenager, left behind the shoe factory in Udine where she had started working at the age of 8, and set off to San Francisco to become a silent-movie star. Soon the camera itself attracted her, and she ended up photographing the Mexican revolution. From there, she moved on to the Soviet Union and then the Spanish Civil War, only to mysteriously abandon photography and become a nurse and war reporter. Returning to Mexico a convinced revolutionary, Modotti died under unclear circumstances but is widely remembered both there and abroad.