Une danse des bouffons (or A Jester's Dance)

Marcel Dzama

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The new film by Canadian-born multidisciplinary artist Marcel Dzama (featuring music by Arcade Fire and an appearance by former Sonic Youth frontwoman Kim Gordon) pays oblique tribute to the cinema of David Cronenberg while dropping playful art-historical quotations from Duchamp to Picasso, Beuys to Orsler.

Marcel Dzama's new film Une Danse Des Bouffons (or A Jester's Dance) is a Dadaist love story inspired by expressionist cinema in which Marcel Duchamp's Étant donnés comes to life. Motifs of death and rebirth, multiple identities and doppelgängers, false prophets, love won and love lost, fragility, and the corruption of power spiral in a dizzying game of chess. A fly character sits in an audience, a head explodes, limbs are severed, a creature in a black cloak with a hybrid body gives shocking birth, and a woman — played by Sonic Youth's Kim Gordon — communicates to her lover, who is trapped in a television screen. These smart, oblique references to the films of David Cronenberg mingle with art historical quotations, from Duchamp to Picasso to Beuys to Orsler, in a work that, like the rest of Dzama's oeuvre, is both playful and macabre. With music by Arcade Fire.


Presented and organized in partnership with the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, 952 Queen Street West. Runs daily, September 5-15. Exhibition continues until December 29. Co-curated by Noah Cowan and David Liss.


    • Marcel Dzama
    • Marcel Dzama was born in Winnipeg and is based in Brooklyn. His drawings, sculptures, films and dioramas have been exhibited internationally and acquired by major musems, including the MoMA, CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts in San Francisco, the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, and the Kunst-Werke Institute for Contemporary Art in Berlin. In 2010, the Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal held a major survey of his work.