This year’s BYOA (Bring Your Own Art) exhibition at RIA on January 1, will be in the spirit of DaDa. DaDa Dinges (the title is flexible, but DaDa it will be) is not just for people who work with their hands: actors, poets, musicians, story-tellers, all are invited. Want to participate? Send us your RSVP by December 27 by emailing: email@example.com
Here you will find some DADA sources, quotes and links that we have received from many of you and gathered for you to enjoy and be inspired by.
Rene Price: A is for ART
DA-DAists, as Tristan Tzara once wrote, “…decapitated the haloed capital A from the word art and have placed this word again on the level of human manifestations.” *
DaDa tried, but ART continues to be heavily corporatized, professionalized, institutionalized, and CAPITALIZED in more ways than one. So ART, as Rene Price appears to suggest with his series of wobbly A’s on pedestals, could use another kick in the A.
* Tristan Tzara wrote these words in 1948 when Kurt Schwitters died. See: Rudi Fuchs et al, Kurt Schwitters – I is Style (Amsterdam, Stedelijk Museum/Rotterdam, NAi 2000) p. 149.
One could argue Berlin wasn’t DaDa at all, as much of it was directly aimed at socio/political injustices of the time, which seems to me was an eminently rational, if satirical, thing to do.
Feel free to be completely irrational and Zuerich, or find a rational inspiration here: Berlin Dada.
With notable exceptions, the artists of the DaDa, Surrealist, and Situationist movement have been men.
Kate Blanchett, in Julian Rosefeldt’s Manifesto, currently at the MAC makes the words from these angry young men resound in mostly female fictional characters. On twelve screens that show a wide variety of settings, Blanchett portrays completely different women and one old man, who each proclaim sections of famous artists’ manifestos written between 1909 and 2004. A thirteenth screen, showing a burning fuse, introduces the exhibition with words from Marx’s Manifesto of 1848: “All that is Solid Melts into Air.”
We spent an engrossing afternoon at the MAC in Montreal with this video installation. There is a theatre film version as well, and you can also see the videos online, but the installation of the screens in the gallery crowded with people and simultaneous sounds, provides a bodily experience in the presence. It grounds this artwork in the drama and history of our ongoing modern age.
It is striking how the furious and satirical words of hotheaded young men throughout the century sound so relevant today, for all genders. What is interesting as well is that those female contributors to DaDa and other counter-movements are getting more attention these days. One of the almost forgotten artists was Baroness Elsa von Freitag-Loringhoven a poet and one of the earliest performance artists, who was part of the New York DaDa scene during and after WWI.
Last month, in the Carleton University Friends of Art History Visual Culture Series, CUAG Curator Heather Anderson spoke about the Baroness, and we heard that Heather is researching an exhibition at CUAG (in 2020) about this artist whose importance for Dada was largely overshadowed until the last few decades.
Be inspired! Think drama, words, poetry, and video, things we would want to be part of RIA’s annual BYOA. Be historical, or hysterical, but bring your art into the present.
The counter art movements of the early twentieth century continued to influence artists throughout the century and into the present day. If you need more inspiration, look at Ubu Roi, that ur-figure of Dada that you can find all over Youtube. Or fast forward to Punk and The Situationists International. Have a look at Martha Rossler’s current Irrespective show, and remember her giant garage sales, that recur from 1973 to 2012. Surf to your heart’s content. DaDa ghosts are everywhere!
Beth Shepherd sent this link:
Dada: The Original Art Rebels documentary (2016)
Ottawa Poet Laurie Koensgen shared a link to Tristan Tzara’s “How to Make a Dadaist Poem”
as well as a poem by Tzara himself, from the PoemHunter site:
Proclamation without Pretension
Art is going to sleep for a new world to be born
“ART”-parrot word-replaced by DADA,
PLESIOSAURUS, or handkerchief
The talent THAT CAN BE LEARNED makes the
poet a druggist TODAY the criticism
of balances no longer challenges with resemblances
Hypertrophic painters hyperaes-
theticized and hypnotized by the hyacinths
of the hypocritical-looking muezzins
CONSOLIDATE THE HARVEST OF EX-
Hypodrome of immortal guarantees: there is
no such thing as importance there is no transparence
MUSICIANS SMASH YOUR INSTRUMENTS
BLIND MEN take the stage
THE SYRINGE is only for my understanding. I write because it is
natural exactly the way I piss the way I’m sick
ART NEEDS AN OPERATION
Art is a PRETENSION warmed by the
TIMIDITY of the urinary basin, the hysteria born
in THE STUDIO
We are in search of
the force that is direct pure sober
UNIQUE we are in search of NOTHING
we affirm the VITALITY of every IN-
the anti-philosophy of spontaneous acrobatics
At this moment I hate the man who whispers
before the intermission-eau de cologne-
sour theatre. THE JOYOUS WIND
If each man says the opposite it is because he is
Get ready for the action of the geyser of our blood
-submarine formation of transchromatic aero-
planes, cellular metals numbered in
the flight of images
above the rules of the
and its control
It is not for the sawed-off imps
who still worship their navel