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Dada And Surrealism Essay

3879 words - 16 pages

DADA AND SURREALISM History of Art ITT Technical Institute Ms. Browning Written by: Jesse Burns January 28, 2002 The topic of Dada and surrealism was appealing because of a long time interest in the Surrealist art movement. It was also appealing because my original topic was picked by half of the class, so I figured you did not want to read yet another research paper about Vincent Van Gogh. The movement had to start somewhere, and that is what I wanted to figure out. I found that the Surrealist movement came from the downfall of Dadaism in the mid 1920's.The topic is meaningful in a way that Dada not only gave way to Surrealism, but also influenced many other schools of art such as Constructivism, Letterism, Fluxus, Pop- and Op-art, Conceptual art, and Minimalism.(6) The history, the influence, the importance, and the artists of the Dada and Surrealist movements will all be revealed in the following paper.The purpose for writing this paper, beside the fact that it is a requirement for this class, is to lead you from the early days of Dada in Zurich, Switzerland to the days of Surrealism in various parts of Europe and also to lead you through various art forms ranging from poetry and paintings, to cabaret performances, to almost anything else you could imagine.There was an abundance of artists and styles that made up the Dadaists and the Surrealists, each trying to either discover aspects of society or personal aspects of them. All with the same goal in mind, but also all with there own style. For the purpose of this paper lets start by understanding Dadaism.Dada A western European artistic and literary movement (1916-1923) that sought the discovery of authentic reality through the abolition of traditional, cultural, and aesthetic forms by a technique of comic derision in which irrationality, chance, and intuition were the guiding principals.(The American Heritage Dictionary) As early as 1915 it was apparent that the trench warfare of WWI would not provide any result other than mass slaughter. A number of intellectuals such as German writer Hugo Ball, Richard Huelsenbeck, and the artist Jean Arp sought refuge in neutral Switzerland where poet Tristan Tzara joined them. Others that came to Zurich were exiles from countries on both sides of the war. Some were draft dodgers others were just pacifists.In 1916 Hugo Ball founded the Cabaret Voltaire, birthplace of Dada, as a center for protest against the European society, which could give rise to and condone the destructiveness of the war.(3) At first the evenings were literary or musical, or sometimes both called noise-music. Poems were recited in French, English, and German simultaneously while Huelsenbeck played a continuous drumbeat. Public reaction at some times approached actual violence, which was what the members wanted. They aimed to provoke the public into reacting to their activities. They believed that a violent negative reaction was better than just passive acceptance.(6) They attacked...

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