After remaining anonymous, forgotten by the history of art after her tragic death in Paris in 1927, Elsa began to be referred to in 1982. Numerous articles, a novel, a film have been written about her, and the most complete and best-documented biographies have been published, written by Irene Gammel, Baroness Elsa: gender, Dada and everyday modernity; and Gloria Durán, Dandy baroness, Dada Queen, both researchers and writers on literature and art. It is thanks to these studies that we managed to find out who Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven was. If an artist has shaken the society of the moment in which she has lived, with her work, way of being, acting and thinking, as is the case with Elsa, it is almost impossible to talk about her.
In addition to her performances, Elsa created objects assembled with found materials, with metal, wood, cardboard, household utensils, among many others, of which we are aware, such as her performances and ready-mades, thanks to the photographic records made by some of her colleagues. Her first ready-made was a heavily rusted metal ring, Enduring Ornament (1913), considered an artwork a year before Duchamp made his first ready-made, Bottle Rack (1914). Although one of her best-known ready-mades is God (1917) (3), built with twisted and rusty sanitary pipes, whose work came to be attributed to Morton Schambert, an American painter and photographer, who apparently was the one who made the photographic record.
Curiously, starting in 1982, a discussion has been generated in relation to the authorship of the Fountain (1917), a work that art history has attributed to Marcel Duchamp, and we have considered it that way until now, although in a letter that the artist sent his sister Suzanne, says: “One of my female friends, under the male pseudonym Richard Mutt, has sent a porcelain urinal to the exhibition as if it were a sculpture.” This confession, and another fact that confirms that Elsa, the Baroness Dada, also used the pseudonym of R. Mutt, has generated a controversy regarding who really is the author of the Fountain.