Dada…is an experience. This wonderful class has definitely been an experience. The reason that I call it an experience and not just a class, or a concept, is because it has taken all of me, my thoughts, talents, and abilities to truly understand the concepts presented in the book and in class. Therefore, I now have been cursed, or blessed depending on who you ask, to see Dada in everything. Whenever I walk down the street or am anywhere and see someone challenging the norms, defining themselves in their own way, or, especially, experimenting with different methods or means of getting from point A to point B using whatever facet, one of my first thoughts is, “that’s so Dada.”
On the simplest level, take a look at how Dada has influenced our class; it has opened people up to each other in ways that other art history classes are not able to. We are put under false identities or maybe actually real ones for once, by being given nick-names. As silly or ridiculous as they may be, it is like being put behind a mask, an aid to participate freely and not have your name tarnished. No one knows your real name, after all. Considering Dada is heavily based on getting back to the basics and finding the underlying truth of art, it makes perfect sense that one would need to able to go within themselves, where truth lies, to understand it. We have all begun to open up and contribute various skills to the classroom. As I have told a few classmates, “learning what Dada is has been one the most miserable but rewarding things I have had to do. Miserable because of the crazy videos and pieces of art that one has to go through to understand it, but rewarding by the freedom it gives an artist to work without rules.”
On a slightly more sophisticated level, I have noticed direct relations from Dada to modern society; elements of the movement that have leaked their way through time and are now still going strong. Look at typography, for instance, the play on letters and words through styles that are directly related to our early twentieth century counterparts. Montages, whether through video or through the use of collage, are everywhere; in advertisement, movies, and cork boards. One step further, in my own art work. My art, though unintentionally, is a derivative of ideas presented back in the Dada periods. Otherwise, by now, art would be so restricted to rules and specific styles that the freedom that I can have when doing something abstract would be lost.
The contradictions presented by Dada, order and chaos, logic and just because, specifically in reference to art, are confusing and frustrating to think about but, I think, necessary for every artist who wants to know why they are creating anything. So what are Dada’s influences and where are they? Well, going off the definition that Dada is everything and nothing; its influences are everywhere but nowhere.