Friday, June 21, 2013

Tango with Cows (Tango s Korovami)

Image: Getty Research Institute

David Burlyuk (American, born Ukraine, 1882-1967) and Vladimir Burlyuk (Ukrainian, 1887-1917) written by Vasily Kamensky (Russian, 1884-1961)

 Tango with Cows (Tango s Korovami), 1914 Book with three lithographs in black and letterpress in black on yellow wallpaper 198 x 202 x 5 mm Mary and Leigh Block Endowment Fund, 2009.238 Prints and Drawings
 These recently acquired books by progressive Russian artists and poets, made between the revolutions of 1905 and 1917, aimed to overthrow conventions of art and society simultaneously. Their makers believed that art and language needed to become immediate and real—part of everyday life—and as a result these Futurist books were willfully made with cheap materials, and appeared purposely unrefined, as if they were products of wild and primitive behavior.

The title of Vasilii Kamenskii's artist's book, "Tango s korovami" (Tango with Cows), evoked the clash between Russian rural culture and growing urban life. The book was printed on sheets of wallpaper. Page spread from "Tango s korovami : zhelezobetonnyi a poemy," Vasilii Kamenskii, 1914.
Source: Getty Research Institute

These images from

Tango With Cows (poem) 

Life is shorter than the squeal of a sparrow.
Like a dog, regardless, sailing 
on an ice floe down the river in spring? 
With tinned mirth we look at our destiny. 
We - the discoverers of countries - 
conquerors of the air - 
kings of orange groves
and cattle. 
Perhaps we will drink 
a glass of wine 
to the health of the comets, 
expiring diamond blood. 
Or better still – 
we’ll get a record player. 
Well, to hell with you! - 
hornless and ironed! 
I want one - 
to dance one 
tango with cows
 and to build bridges - 
from the tears 
of bovine jealousy
to the tears 
of crimson girls

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