dave_littler (dave_littler) wrote,
dave_littler
dave_littler

Dada


Are you familliar with Dada artwork?

It was this art movement in the early 20th century, created in part by a french artist named Marcel Duchamp. I won't go into great detail as to the history and origins of the art movement; if you want to know more, just click some of the above links. What I'm more interested in here is the spirit of Dada.

Dada is basically all about taking substanceless crap and - through subverting and corrupting it, either in presentation or in form - create some new peice of artwork out of it. Probably the first example of Dada artwork came in the form of Duchamp's "The Fountain", in which he yanked a urinal out of the wall of an art show he was judging, signed the name "R. Mutt" onto it, named it "The Fountain", and declared it the winner of the show, saying "Whether Mr Mutt made the fountain with his own hands or not has no importance. He CHOSE it. He took an article of life, placed it so that its useful significance disappeared under the new title and point of view – created a new thought for that object.".

Dada took on a lot of different forms over the years; it was never about the specific medium so much as it was about the gesture of contempt for a genre or body of work. One of the questions about almost any Dada artwork that inevitably comes up is "Are we supposed to like the actual creation, or the mere act of corruption and subversion?" The great thing about dada is that that question is meaningless; the two concepts are inseperable and indistinguishable.

Today, the spirit of Dada lives on. I've seen two videos on Youtube which I feel are worthy successors to the legacy of Dada. The first is Japanese...



The second is an actual, honest-to-goodness American presidential campaign video from former senator Mike Gravel...

 

...which I feel shows the appropriate contempt and subversion of the medium and substanceless crap of American campaign videos.
Tags: american politics, culture, history, japanese, tv, youtube
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