Adrian Ghenie, Dada Room, 2010, mixed media. Installation view.

Adrian Ghenie

Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst (SMAK)

Adrian Ghenie, Dada Room, 2010, mixed media. Installation view.

The absurdities and coincidences of childhood can shape your viewpoint for life. Growing up in Cluj, Romania, Adrian Ghenie was taught to worship the father of the state, Nicolae Ceauşescu. At the age of twelve, Ghenie lived through the “trial” and execution of the man whose photograph hung in every school—a sudden shock that turned the world as he knew it upside down. Meanwhile, his real father worshipped someone totally different. Playing in a rock ’n’ roll band, dressed up as Elvis, Ghenie Sr. paid tribute to the first global pop icon.

The First International Dada Fair took place in 1920 in a room at a private house in Berlin. Ninety years later, Ghenie showed his own version, Dada Room, 2010. At first sight the darkened space, lit only by a single neon tube, looked shabby, even a bit filthy, but little by little the displayed artifacts, sketches, paintings, and a dummy

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