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“Repelled by the slaughterhouses of the world war, we turned toart. We searched for an elementary art that would, we thought,save mankind from the furious madness of these times … wewanted an anonymous and collective art.” (Hans Arp)
Art Manifestos “The magic of a word - DADA - which for journalists has opened the door to an unforeseen world, has for us not the slightest importance. “ (Tristan Tzara, 1926) The Dada Manifesto was first released in 1916, written by Hugo Ball, and then in 1926 by Tristan Tzara (the entire manifesto can be found here: http://www.ralphmag.org/AR/dada.html Dadaism appeared as an art movement against the conventions of art and expressed a rejection of the bourgeois, of preoccupations with war and of imperialist / colonial aspirations. Dada – a randomly chosen word from the French dictionaryHannah Höch, Cut with the (meaning hobby-horse) – celebrated ‘non-Kitchen Knife through the Last sense’, the unconscious, the random andWeimar Beer-Belly Cultural Epoch aimed to subvert the mainstream, acceptedin Germany, 1919 principles of art and conventions of thought.
Turning and turning in the widening gyreThe falcon cannot hear the falconer;Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhereThe ceremony of innocence is drowned;The best lack all conviction, while the worstAre full of passionate intensity.Surely some revelation is at hand;Surely the Second Coming is at hand.The Second Coming! Hardly are those words outWhen a vast image out of Spiritus MundiTroubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desertA shape with lion body and the head of a man,A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,Is moving its slow thighs, while all about itReel shadows of the indignant desert birds.The darkness drops again; but now I knowThat twenty centuries of stony sleepWere vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born? W. B. Yeats, The Second Coming, 1919
• World War One• Easter Rising 1916 (Ireland)• Russian Revolution 1917
Terms of the Versailles Treaty (Some main points)• Alsace & Lorraine returned to France• Demilitarised zone set up, France occupation of the Rhineland for 15 years• Germany to be disarmed• Germany had to accept full responsibility for the war• Reparations to be paid (announced in 1921 as £6,600 million)• A further series of peace treaties.
The Bauhaus (1919-33), artists and designers favoured strict adherenceto form they considered ornate styles inappropriate for the functionalrigour of the modern world. The Bauhaus was an establish school of artand design in inter-war Germany
Modernists had a utopian desireto create a better world. Theybelieved in technology as the keymeans to achieve improvementand in the machine as a symbol ofthat aspiration. All of theseprinciples were frequentlycombined with social and politicalbeliefs (largely left-leaning) whichheld that design and art could,and should, transform society.http://www.vam.ac.uk/vastatic/microsites Le Corbusier, Villa Savoye (1928-1931) Poissy, France
Directors House at the Bauhaus 1923. Furniture Marcel Breuer Bauhaus Chairs
1921• Irish Free State declared• German reparations set at 132 Billion German Marks inflation begins
1922• Tutankhamuns tomb discovered• Mussolini march on Rome; fascists convince government to let Mussolini be PM• TS Eliot’s The Wasteland published• James Joyce’s Ulysses published
1923• Charleston• Hitler’s Munich beer hall putsch. Sentenced to 5 years in prison where he wrote Mein Kampf. The failed coup also highlighted to Hitler the necessity to achieve initial power through democratic means rather than violence.
1924• Lenin dies, Stalin takes control (was in charge from Lenin’s stroke year before)• Manifesto of Surrealism
The Dada group was eventually disbanded inthe mid 1920s, and several of its membersjoined the new Surrealist movement (Man Ray,Max Ernst, etc). The Surrealist Manifesto wasfirst drafted in 1924 by André Breton, andanother was released in 1929/30 (the fullmanifesto can be found here:http://www.tcf.ua.edu/Classes/Jbutler/T340/F98/SurrealistManifesto.htmThe Surrealists were interested in ideas ofpsychoanalysis (Freud, Jung), Marxism, dreams,symbols, the unconscious, eroticism, theirrational, automatism (automatic writing), andspiritualism. Like the Dadaists, they too soughtto subvert accepted conventions, ‘truths’, andtraditions.Man Ray http://www.ubu.com/film/ray.html Max Ernst, Attirement of the Bride, 1940
1925• Flappers• John T. Scopes convicted and fined for teaching evolution in a public school in Tennessee “Monkey Trial”• Franz Kafka’s The Trial published• F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby published