2019 BYOA: DaDa Dinges

1 dada dinges _jan. 1 2019_photos rene price (63)

RIA’s New Year’s BYOA (Bring Your
Own Art) exhibition.

Participating artistsNancy Baele, Hans Blokpoel, GailBourgeois, Greta Grip, Petra Halkes,Sandra Hawkins, Freida Hjartarson, Assel El-Rayes, Sylvia Klein, Laurie Koensgen, Penelope Kokkinos, Maureen Korp, Denise Lachance, Deborah Margo, Jacqueline Milner, Rene Price, Jadzia Romaniec, Beth Shepherd, Frances Slaney, Rob Snikkar, Svetlana Swinimer, Joyce Westrop, Carmel Whittle,Yvonne Wiegers, Shirley Yik.

Collaboratively, the artists put together a catalog of the exhibition. You can find it HERE

View the album DaDaDinges Discussion, January 13, 2019, by Sylvia Klein  HERE

Album of the Finissage, January 27, 2019: HERE

snip 1

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.”


Exhibition statement:

In its time, 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 wobbly A on a pedestal, could use another kick in the A.

This year, RIA’s 4C’s Study Group (Capitalism, Colonialism, Climate Change) has done a lot of thinking and talking about the state of the world, and art’s place in it. The conversations and the art have been intense, serious, and often depressing. Considering the times we live in, this is as it should be.

DaDa Dinges provides a bit of a break, a break that nonetheless does not feel like an escape. There is no escape from the world’s crises, but art can be nonsensical and/or humorous and still feel relevant to our times.

There is no parallel for the times we live in but there have been other times in history that were similarly bewildering. DADAists, Surrealists and Situationists International; search the web, and you’ll find their ghosts everywhere.

The artworks in the exhibition, DaDa Dinges, may be historical, or they may be hysterical, but they bring art into the present, down to a ground level, where they are closest to just being a “human manifestation.”

Images: 1. First International DaDa Fair, Berlin,1920 http://www.merzmail.net/dada7.htm  2. Rene Price, A for Art, 2018




BYOA (Bring Your Own Art) exhibition at RIA on January 1, 2019, was in the spirit of DaDa.

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 for ArtRene 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.

Enter a caption


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.

Hoech Heartfield

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.

Baroness von Freitag-Loringhoven

Baroness Elsa von Freitag-Loringhoven. Image United States Library of Congress

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!

More links:

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



Hypodrome of immortal guarantees: there is

no such thing as importance there is no transparence

or appearance


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 is a PRETENSION warmed by the

TIMIDITY of the urinary basin, the hysteria born


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

Tristan Tzara