In November 2016, we teamed up with the International Museum of Collage, Assemblage and Construction to celebrate the one hundred year anniversary of Dada and the coming Day of the Dead, November 2.
We met the owners of the museum, Cecil Touchon and Rosalia Touchon in October, when we realized our shared interest in Dadaism, collage and Day of the Dead. As I had co-owned a gallery in the past, and done a show specifically pertaining to the celebration of Day of the Dead I was excited to participate in yet another one. We then collectively came up with the idea of the exhibit to merge the celebrations into one experience, hence an artistic meaningful mash up. A celebration and honoring of an art movement that had put aside the norms of art’s past and a celebration and honoring of those who came before us.
Santa Fe being what it is, with it’s Hispanic/Spanish history and a city mostly known for its artistic nature was the perfect location for the exhibit. We named the exhibit Dada Centennial / Day of the Dead.
With just a little over a month to put the exhibit together we all intensely focused on the planning. Thanks to Cecil’s connections around the world the submissions to the show poured in. By the time the exhibit opened we had over two hundred submissions. Mari and I developed and sent out the invitations through every means possible. Cecil and Rosalia expertly hung the show and the opening day arrived. We were ready.
Bang! The event was a huge success. The combination of the two concepts melded together perfectly. Many of the audience were artistically dressed for Day of the Dead. As the night went on and closing time neared, people simply didn’t want to stop. Mari and I ended up with a house full of extraordinary visitors until the wee hours of the night.
The Altar to Kurt Schwitters
Note - Artomen is on the left.
The Book - Created by Cecil Touchon
By Jed Rasula
Excellent read on the beginning of Dadaism. Rasula truly brings the individuals to life in ways I have never read in any other book concerning Dadaism. Characteristics of both the human element as well as the surroundings in which things occurred are clearly explored.
A must read for those interested in this art movement that can speak to even our time.
Jed Rasula is Helen S. Lanier Distinguished Professor of English at the University of Georgia. He is the author of Destruction Was My Beatrice: Dada and the Unmaking of the Twentieth Century, Modernism and Poetic Inspiration: The Shadow Mouth, and Syncopations: The Stress of Innovation in Contemporary American Poetry, among others.
We had a primary mission in visiting Zurich, Switzerland, to visit the Cabaret Voltaire.
Founded in 1916 by Hugo Ball, Cabaret Voltaire was literally the birthplace of Dada, the art movement, or more accurately, the anti-art movement that turned into a crucial statement and artistic outcry predicated on a protest against the horrors of World War II. The world was stunned at the carnage of the war and the Dadaists responded.
"”The war is founded on a glaring mistake, men have been confused with machines."
Other founding members were, Tristan Tzara, Richard Huelsenbeck, Marcel Janco, Sophie Tauber, and Hans Arp.
Dada was art, performance, politics, poetry, happenings, and so much more. Its impact is still being seen in the art world and Neo Dadaism is alive and well.
Cabaret Voltaire is still there and still pushing the boundaries of art, music and performance.
On a September night Mari (also an art lover) and I sat drinking beer listening to music that fit perfectly with the atmosphere in this important landmark of art. The crowd was a mixture of older and younger people. All appeared to know just how important the place they were in was. For me it was a visit that checked off an important life-list activity. Being a part-time artist who occasionally creates Dada related work, this visit was truly thrilling. The history enveloped us and it glowed in a magical way. Dada!
The exhibit at the time we were there was by Mexican artist, Carlos Amorales, a multidisciplinary artist who studied at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy and the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam.
Learn more about Dada
List of Dadaists - Go Here
Cabaret Voltaire Video
Art, Music, Books, Inspirations and a few psychological and philosophical musings.