Dada was an art movement that emerged in the early 20th century in response to the devastation and disillusionment caused by World War I. The movement was centered around the activities of a group of artists and intellectuals in Zurich, Switzerland, but quickly spread to other cities in Europe and the United States. Dadaists rejected traditional artistic values and celebrated chaos and the irrational, using techniques such as collage, photomontage, and found objects to create works of art that were meant to shock and challenge the viewer.
The origins of the name “Dada” are somewhat mysterious, but it is thought to be derived from the French word for “hobby horse,” or a child’s word for “rocking horse.” The name was chosen because it was meaningless, and therefore a perfect embodiment of the movement’s rejection of traditional meaning and sense.
Dada was a major influence on the development of Surrealism, and many of the artists associated with Dada later went on to participate in the Surrealist movement. Additionally, the anti-establishment attitude and focus on political and social commentary in Dada artwork has been seen as foreshadowing later developments in conceptual and performance art.
Notable figures in the Dada movement include the artists Hannah Höch, Georg Grosz, and Kurt Schwitters, as well as the writers Tristan Tzara, Richard Huelsenbeck, and Francis Picabia. Dada may have been a short-lived, but it had a significant impact on the art world and remains an important chapter in the history of modern art.
- Create a section of the website dedicated to showcasing Dada art, literature, and other forms of creative expression. This could include reproductions of iconic Dada works, as well as lesser-known pieces from the movement.
- Host a virtual Dada salon, where visitors can engage in discussions and debates about the movement, its significance, and its ongoing legacy. This could include live events with guest speakers, as well as a forum or chat room where visitors can share their thoughts and ideas.
- Create interactive elements that allow visitors to create their own Dada-inspired art or poetry. For example, you could include a collage maker that allows visitors to upload their own images and arrange them in a Dada-style collage, or a generative poetry tool that creates random word combinations inspired by the writing of Dada poets.
- Make educational resources available for those interested in learning more about Dada, for example: articles, videos, podcasts, or interactive presentations, or educational resources for those who want to learn about art movements in general and its the meaning behind the art produced.
- Create a section where visitors can submit their own Dada-inspired art, literature, and other creative work for others to view, creating an online community of Dada enthusiasts.
- Offer virtual tours of Dada art galleries or exhibitions, and where possible, provide detailed descriptions of the artworks and their historical context.
All these ideas are flexible and can be tailored to your preference and resources available to you, the main thing is to create a website that is engaging and interactive, that encourages visitors to explore and engage with the Dada movement, its art and its ideas.
Create your Dada Blogs
One example of Dada poetry that addresses the theme of human kindness is “Lecture on Dada” by Tristan Tzara. The poem is a stream-of-consciousness manifesto that celebrates the irrational and the absurd, and criticizes the traditional values of art and society. Here is an excerpt:
“Dada is the signboard on the highway of sorrow. Dada is the crying baby on the graves of the dead. Dada is a woman sewing at night by the light of the moon. Dada is the man who pours kerosene on the head of a sleeping woman. Dada is the sense of a word, the value of the word, the reason for the word, the necessity of the word. Dada is the heart of the word, the blood of the word, the soul of the word.”
The poem reflects the Dadaist rejection of traditional meaning and sense, and their emphasis on the irrational and the absurd. The use of seemingly unrelated, random imagery and ideas in the poem also reflects the Dadaist use of collage and found objects in their art. The last line, “Dada is the heart of the word, the blood of the word, the soul of the word” is a reference to the the vitality of the word and the power of language to create meaning and communicate emotion, but also the need to question it and put it into question.
Tristan Tzara is a Dadaist artist and poet and is known for his influential role in the movement as a co-founder of the Cabaret Voltaire and as an organizer of the First International Dada Fair in 1920. His Poems are known to be provocative, absurd and representing the anti-establishment attitude that was part of the dadaism and was meant to reject traditional values and conventions, and to encourage new ways of thinking about art and society.