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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

DADA

AVI 4M1


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.


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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 . . .


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. . . like Switzerland.

Zurich, Switzerland


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

Emmy Hennings, Hugo Ball and Tristan Tzara


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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.


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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


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They would recite nonsense sound poetry in nonsensical costumes:

Hugo Ball reciting poetry, 1916

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


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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


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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.


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Meanwhile in New York City …

Very similar things were going on .


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Meanwhile in New York City …

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

Marcel Duchamp

Man Ray

Francis Picabia


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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


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Marcel Duchamp, In Advance of a Broken Arm, 1915


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Marcel Duchamp, Bottle Rack, 1914


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Marcel Duchamp, Bicycle Wheel, 1913


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

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


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


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Man Ray, Cadeau, 1921


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Man Ray is best remembered as a pioneering Modernist photographer.

Man Ray, Le Violon d’Ingres, 1924


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Man Ray, Marquise Casati, 1922


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Man Ray, Rayograph, c. 1921


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Francis Picabia, Parade Amoureuse, 1917


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Francis Picabia, Balance, 1919


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


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Meanwhile in Germany …

very similar things were going on too!


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Hannah Hoch, The Beautiful Girl, 1919-20


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Raul Hausmann, Tatlin at Home, 1920


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Raul Hausmann, Spirit of Our Time, 1919


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Kurt Schwitters, Merz compositions, 1923 - 32


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Kurt Schwitters, Merzbau 1924-37


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


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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


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Dada ‘art’ is not really Art.

Dadaists hated Art.

They thought all Art should be destroyed.

Kurt Schwitters, Merz, 1920


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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


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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


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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


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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


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Fin.


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