Yesterday the first bloglady and the first blogteen dragged the blogger-in-chief to the National Gallery of Art in Washington for the opening of the exhibit on Dadaism, and interesting art and cultural movement that gripped Germany, France and even New York in the post-World War I era. Like the first rule of Fight Club, the first principle of Dada was there were no principles. Easy enough, reminded us in fact of some politicians in Washington these days. It was a genre steeped in cynicism, alienation and disaffection. (No wonder they found New York….). Said early dadaist Tristan Tzara, “The beginnings of Dada were not the beginnings of an art, but of a disgust.”
But we were most impressed to see how all roads lead to manufacturing. As the Dada movement spread, French artist Marcel Duchamp made his way to New York City where he was like a missionary, spreading the word of Dada to new adherents and bohemians. As it turns out, he pioneered a type of Dada art known as “readymade” where he took manufactured items and made them into pieces of art. As every manufacturer knows, all manufactured items are pieces of art, so this was no big deal. We probably could’ve taught Duchamp a thing or two back in the day. Here’s link to one of his “readymade” works, and another.
Just a reminder that manufacturing is everywhere, even in the art world, even in the sometimes bizarre world of Dada.
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