Goo (Julia) Cooper 311240828 ARHT1002 - Modern Times: Art and Film Essay “Dada is nothing, nothing, nothing
.” How do you evaluate the antiaesthetic anarchism and nihilism of Dada? In answering this question, you might consider how Dada is best characterised. To what was dada responding? What were the tactics of this response? Deal with the work, writing and actions carried out in at least one of these cities: Zurich, Berlin, New York, and Paris. Dada was a cultural movement that peaked from 1916 to 1922. It commenced during World War 1 in Zurich, Switzerland as a reaction to the various events that were happening at the time. This cultural movement predominantly involved poetry, visual arts, art theory, theatre, art manifestoes, graphic design, literature and just about anything they could get their hands on to use creatively. Dada was all about its anti-war and anti-art attitude, rebelling against any thing and every thing was the Dada intention and purpose. It had the aim of making fun of any kind of convention and by doing so, gave itself a very quick anarchistic reputation (Richter, Hans 1997 p.11). In this essay, I will be discussing Dadaism and its philosophical attitudes, as well as all the places that dada was involved in, such as New York, Zurich, Berlin and Paris, evaluating it‟s antiaesthetic anarchism and nihilism and showing how and what Dada was responding to throughout its time. If Dada had any rules at all, it would only have one and that was to never follow any of the known or conventional rules that art and the world at large had been suffocated by. Dadaism was highly influenced by abstraction and expressionism and was to abandon all stylistic contrivances intending to provoke as many emotional reactions as they could get away with, this involved shocking and outraging the viewer out of their minds. Dada was expressing how foolish society had become through a joker‟s perspective. It arose and came out of observing the absurdity of what the government and other political powers were up to and were so absurdist as to the point of making a joke out of almost
The Dadaists were mostly responding to World War 1. Marc 2006 p. Even something as psychotic as war could contain some kind of twisted humour. The cynical attitude towards the potential of war generated a nihilistic view of society and then was expressed through what you might call their „anti-art‟ products (Dachy. the absurdity of war. a kind of humour that is not very optimistically funny. but then later moved to New York. including itself. it frees one from restricted cultural values that every one was taught before they had the ability to question.Modern Times: Art and Film Essay anything. The most well known movement that Dada was directly responsible for was Surrealism. as it gave one the option to stand outside the expected way of perceiving society whilst at the same time being engaged in it. It
. This artwork (or more precisely anti-art work) was simply a urinal mounted on a pedestal with initials inscribed upon it. Dada utterly created a lot of branches in the art scene. Having a sense of humour on things that are considered deadly serious is a method of freedom. but rather a nihilistic and anti-society type of comedy that pokes and laughs at itself from the inside (Richter. They were expressing the bewilderment that was felt by a large number of the population towards the twisted behaviour of society. In addition to constructing numerous literary journals. which in a sense represents the madness behind these three things. Dada influenced many trends in the visual arts. technological society and any form of „progress‟.26). The basis of Dada was complete nonsense and chaos.104). Hans 1997 p.34). clearing the landscape as it were for new flowers such as surrealism to grow out from its basses. one of the most popular examples being “The fountain” done in 1917 by a French man named Marcel Duchamp who lived in Paris at the time. For something that allegedly meant nothing.Goo (Julia) Cooper 311240828 ARHT1002 . The tactics to this response was to shock people out of their belief systems and the way this was possible was through these „art works‟. This can be perceived as a wonderful movement and experiment. David 2004 p. But Dada never wanted to be in or even part of the „art scene‟ and so self-destructed itself when it was at risk of becoming "suitable" and part of the culture (Hopkins.
A famous piece by Marcel Duchamp that was done in Paris 1919 was the act of him using a led pencil to draw a mustache on a duplicate of the Mona Lisa. The climax of Berlin Dada can be seen as the First International Dada Fair. The way Berlin Dada differentiated from other forms of Dada is that it was more aggressive and had a politically motivated approach to the arts. Dada arose out of this need. the mass media. as it resembles Dada perfectly (Dietrich. which had the theme "Art is dead!” One of the major Berlin Dadaists antiart works contained a central piece.342). labeling it with the initials “L. Dadaism also had a certain number of forerunners in Paris. Dadaism was founded in Zurich. As we may already know. Dada in New York however. but these Dadaists tended to be poets. using biblical references only to fire up the audience. to shock people and to cause the audience to think about hitherto unthought-of thoughts. To make a statement like that during that time period was considered absolutely barbaric and crude. This is probably the most Dada one can get. transitory works and alternate other forms of Dada. and editors as well as visual artists. hanging from the ceiling. He became extremely successful at mocking the most famous work of art in the history of painting. Berlin Dada was also much more interested in publishing.Goo (Julia) Cooper 311240828 ARHT1002 . Switzerland.G”.O.400). writers. as the damage of the First World War and its aftermath had hit Berlin much harder than it had in Zurich. Yet Duchamp was probably sitting in a corner somewhere simply having a laugh. This was to be expected. Dorothea 2008 p.Modern Times: Art and Film Essay was also believed to contain the shadow of the Virgin Mary. but over time it also branched out to other places such as Berlin. this is read like “Elle a chaus au cul” and in English this means “She‟s got hot pants”. as this would clearly get the blood pumping for fundamental Christians and the art critics who at the time really had no sense of humour. dressed as a German officer. Dorothea 2008 p.H. was in fact another extremely essential
. The works involved shocked the general public and created publicity for Dada‟s anti-beliefs (Dietrich.O. Paris and New York. which was a dummy with a pig‟s head.
and viewing every thing as equal and permitted.Goo (Julia) Cooper 311240828 ARHT1002 . chaos and of course. in ways they would never act to just an ordinary painting." Although this can be seen as something anarchistic and rebellious. Life is a show and we all play our own characters. "There is no solution. to some degree was the most dogmatically Dadaist around. Dada helps one to realise that life all around us at all times is filled with spontaneity. Dawn 2006 p.456).
." says Duchamp. Dada encourages one to have a sense of humour about reality and not to think of it as such a solid and serious place. a statement that if understood would change the whole world and the way society would operate (Ades.146). yet at the same time. Many New York Dada artists (or non-artists) ensure that the New York section of Dada concentrates on readymade objects. new technology with airbrushing and graphic works reminiscent of mechanical drawings (Dietrich. which actually creates an intense reaction in the audience. Duchamp possessed a wonderful absence of principles and prejudices. Duchamp was also connected to Dada in a very spiritual way. Dada can be considered as one of the most entertaining and clever “art” movements in history. it can also be perceived as an incredibly consciousness expanding statement.Modern Times: Art and Film Essay episode of the Dada movement. "because there isn't any problem. It is the type of movement that is incredibly necessary for the evolution of society. To fulfill the most shocking and unexpected acts is to take a step further into art. this show does not need to be taken as seriously as it was in the early 1900‟s. Dorothea 2008 p. It started when Marcel Duchamp moved to New York from Paris in 1915. The arrival of Duchamp formed the beginning of the Dadaists who were thrilled and excited to be able to use heavily industrialized United States machines and other manufactured objects for Dada purposes. humour.
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