Archive for Dada

Five Collages by Hannah Höch

Posted in Collage with tags , on November 1, 2014 by Dylan Thomas Hayden

Hannah Höch
1 November 1889 – 31 May 1978


Young Masters #10

Posted in Photo, Poetry, Surrealism, Young Masters with tags , on July 16, 2014 by Dylan Thomas Hayden

Young Samy Rosenstock aka Tristan Tzara, with his father and grandfather circa 1912


Dada Manifesto, 1916

Posted in Art, Writing with tags , on February 22, 2014 by Dylan Thomas Hayden

Dada is a new tendency in art. One can tell this from the fact that until now nobody knew anything about it, and tomorrow everyone in Zurich will be talking about it. Dada comes from the dictionary. It is terribly simple. In French it means “hobby horse”. In German it means “good-bye”, “Get off my back”, “Be seeing you sometime”. In Romanian: “Yes, indeed, you are right, that’s it. But of course, yes, definitely, right”. And so forth.

An International word. Just a word, and the word a movement. Very easy to understand. Quite terribly simple. To make of it an artistic tendency must mean that one is anticipating complications. Dada psychology, dada Germany cum indigestion and fog paroxysm, dada literature, dada bourgeoisie, and yourselves, honoured poets, who are always writing with words but never writing the word itself, who are always writing around the actual point. Dada world war without end, dada revolution without beginning, dada, you friends and also-poets, esteemed sirs, manufacturers, and evangelists. Dada Tzara, dada Huelsenbeck, dada m’dada, dada m’dada dada mhm, dada dera dada, dada Hue, dada Tza.

How does one achieve eternal bliss? By saying dada. How does one become famous? By saying dada. With a noble gesture and delicate propriety. Till one goes crazy. Till one loses consciousness. How can one get rid of everything that smacks of journalism, worms, everything nice and right, blinkered, moralistic, europeanised, enervated? By saying dada. Dada is the world soul, dada is the pawnshop. Dada is the world’s best lily-milk soap. Dada Mr Rubiner, dada Mr Korrodi. Dada Mr Anastasius Lilienstein. In plain language: the hospitality of the Swiss is something to be profoundly appreciated. And in questions of aesthetics the key is quality.

I shall be reading poems that are meant to dispense with conventional language, no less, and to have done with it. Dada Johann Fuchsgang Goethe. Dada Stendhal. Dada Dalai Lama, Buddha, Bible, and Nietzsche. Dada m’dada. Dada mhm dada da. It’s a question of connections, and of loosening them up a bit to start with. I don’t want words that other people have invented. All the words are other people’s inventions. I want my own stuff, my own rhythm, and vowels and consonants too, matching the rhythm and all my own. If this pulsation is seven yards long, I want words for it that are seven yards long. Mr Schulz’s words are only two and a half centimetres long.

It will serve to show how articulated language comes into being. I let the vowels fool around. I let the vowels quite simply occur, as a cat meows . . . Words emerge, shoulders of words, legs, arms, hands of words. Au, oi, uh. One shouldn’t let too many words out. A line of poetry is a chance to get rid of all the filth that clings to this accursed language, as if put there by stockbrokers’ hands, hands worn smooth by coins. I want the word where it ends and begins. Dada is the heart of words.

Each thing has its word, but the word has become a thing by itself. Why shouldn’t I find it? Why can’t a tree be called Pluplusch, and Pluplubasch when it has been raining? The word, the word, the word outside your domain, your stuffiness, this laughable impotence, your stupendous smugness, outside all the parrotry of your self-evident limitedness. The word, gentlemen, is a public concern of the first importance.

Hugo Ball
22 February 1886 – 14 September 1927

Sie Puppt mit Puppen

Posted in Poetry with tags , , on June 20, 2012 by Dylan Thomas Hayden

Die Puppen puppen mit kleinen Puppen,
Die kleinen Puppen puppen mit winzigen Puppen,
Die winzigen Puppen puppen mit Püppchen,
Die Püppchen puppen mit kleinen Püppchen,
Die kleinen Püppchen puppen mit winzigen Püppchen,
Die winzigen Püppchen puppen,
Keiner puppt mit ihr.
Ah, Du meine Puppe,
Meine süße Puppe,
Mir ist alles schnuppe,
Wenn ich meine Schnauze
Auf die Deine – bauze.
Püppchen Schnüppchen
Puppe Schnuppe
Schnuppe bauze.
Die Bäuzchen, Püppchen, Puppenfraun
Sie machen nur noch schnauze bauze.

–Kurt Schwitters (20 June 1887 – 8 January 1948)

–portrait by El Lissitzky

more Schwitters poems

Georges Ribemont-Dessaignes

Posted in Drawing, Poetry, Surrealism with tags , on June 19, 2012 by Dylan Thomas Hayden

19 June 1884 – 9 July 1974

Écrit sur la mer

Alors, poète, si la rose n’entend pas,
Si le vent et le rossignol n’ont pas d’oreilles,
Si seul au sein des merveilleuses apparences,
Tu n’entends que ton cœur, ne parles qu’à toi-même,
Si le vrai Dieu est trop grand pour ta contenance
Qu’à le nommer déjà tu en fais une idole,
Qu’à le penser tu le peins d’ébène et d’or,
Qu’à le prier tu distends ta propre substance,
Si l’immense innomé, l’indispensable insensible
N’est si près de toi que dans l’absolu silence,
Paradis perdu au verbe de ton essence,
Alors tu n’attends plus rien du jardin des réponses,
Laisse pousser le pavot et le tournesol,
Laisse la parole au perroquet chrysostome
Et les quatre saisons au temps multicolore,
Alors, dresse-toi, poète, et va sur les flots,
Le cœur dans la main et l’amour au vent du large.
Voici que vient vers toi la voix de l’autre rive,
Que déjà se baisent les échos de l’amour,
Que l’inutile rose se fane à l’aurore.

Tandis que s’allument les feux de la conquête,
Tous mirages dehors et pavillons claquants,
Au couteau trace sur l’écorce de la mer
Deux noms entrelacés, et vogue la galère!

Schwitters Gallery

Posted in Collage, Painting with tags , on June 20, 2011 by Dylan Thomas Hayden


An Anna Blume

Posted in Poetry with tags , on June 20, 2011 by Dylan Thomas Hayden

Today I am very happy to commemorate the birth of that amiable oddball of the avant-garde Kurt Schwitters, for me one of the most lovable of all Modern artists. Above is a facsimile of his famous poem An Anna Blume as it appeared in the book of the same name published in 1919. The entire book is available at the splendid Dada Archive of the University of Iowa.