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DADA AVI 4M1. World War 1; “The Great War”; 1914 - 1918. an entire generation was being slaughtered in a war that need not have been fought. over 13 million killed; 60 million casualties in total.

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DADA AVI 4M1

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DADA

AVI 4M1


World War 1; “The Great War”; 1914 - 1918

  • an entire generation was being slaughtered in a war that need not have been fought.

  • over 13 million killed; 60 million casualties in total

  • European civilization, with all its polite surface refinements, proved to be brutal, cruel and suicidal underneath.


Not everyone supported the war:

  • Conscientious objectors and pacifists refused to fight. Many served in non-violent roles in the army.

  • others fled to avoid the draft to neutral states . . .


. . . like Switzerland.

Zurich, Switzerland


Young avant garde poets, writers, actors, dancers, musicians and visual artists began to congregate in Zurich.

Emmy Hennings, Hugo Ball and Tristan Tzara


They were Nihilists: they thought the only hope for society was the destruction of old institutions and systems and the creation of new ones. They wanted to reinvent culture from the ground up.


They wanted to be in harmony with nature:

“Nature is neither beautiful nor ugly, neither good nor bad.

It is fantastic, monstrous, and infinitely unrestrained.

Nature wants to exist and develop, that is all.

Being in harmony with nature is the same as being in harmony with madness.”

- Hugo Ball

Jean Arp, Configuration, 1916


They would recite nonsense sound poetry in nonsensical costumes:

Hugo Ball reciting poetry, 1916

How natural! Nature makes sounds without literal meaning. . .


They would make nonsensical artworks using chance:

How natural! Nature makes designs by chance. . .

Jean Arp, Collage Arranged According to the Laws of Chance, 1916–17


Why ‘DADA’?

It’s one of first words we utter as children?

It’s slang for rocking horse in Switzerland?

It’s a nonsense word?

You decide.


Meanwhile in New York City …

Very similar things were going on .


Meanwhile in New York City …

a smart, irreverent group of artists were redefining what art could be.

Marcel Duchamp

Man Ray

Francis Picabia


Duchamp coined the term, “readymade”: an object not created by an artist, but one that becomes an artwork because of its context and because the artist labels it as such.

It’s an artwork because I’m an artist and I say it’s an artwork.

Marcel Duchamp, Fountain, 1917


Marcel Duchamp, In Advance of a Broken Arm, 1915


Marcel Duchamp, Bottle Rack, 1914


Marcel Duchamp, Bicycle Wheel, 1913


Read aloud, the title sounds like “Elle a chaud au cul”.

Marcel Duchamp, L.H.O.O.Q., 1919


Man Ray, Object to be Destroyed, 1923 (original destroyed)


Man Ray, Cadeau, 1921


Man Ray is best remembered as a pioneering Modernist photographer.

Man Ray, Le Violon d’Ingres, 1924


Man Ray, Marquise Casati, 1922


Man Ray, Rayograph, c. 1921


Francis Picabia, Parade Amoureuse, 1917


Francis Picabia, Balance, 1919


Marcel Duchamp, The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even, 1915 - 1923


Meanwhile in Germany …

very similar things were going on too!


Hannah Hoch, The Beautiful Girl, 1919-20


Raul Hausmann, Tatlin at Home, 1920


Raul Hausmann, Spirit of Our Time, 1919


Kurt Schwitters, Merz compositions, 1923 - 32


Kurt Schwitters, Merzbau 1924-37


First International Dada Fair, Berlin, 1920; the last hurrah.


Dadaism had no common philosophy.

Dadaists were individualists, anarchists, nihilists and libertarians.

Consequently, it was short-lived, lasting only 4 or 5 years

Kurt Schwitters, Merz, 1920


Dada ‘art’ is not really Art.

Dadaists hated Art.

They thought all Art should be destroyed.

Kurt Schwitters, Merz, 1920


Why bother to study DADA then?

Because of Dadaism’s influence on later art movements:

  • their use of found objects /readymades;

  • Anything could now be considered art given its context.

Robert Rauschenberg, Odalisk, 1955-58


Why bother to study DADA then?

Because of Dadaism’s influence on later art movements:

- their emphasis onideas instead of visual qualities;

Gary Kosuth, One and Three Chairs, 1965


Why bother to study DADA then?

Because of Dadaism’s influence on later art movements:

- their use of chance as a legitimate method of art production;

Joan Miro, Hand Catching a Bird


Why bother to study DADA then?

Because of Dadaism’s influence on later art movements:

- they paved the way for Surrealism:

Rene Magritte, Ceci n’est pas une pipe, 1926


Fin.


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