Modern Day Dadaists

Who Are Practising Dadaists | Current Dadaists

New Generation of Dada Art | Dado Art In Modern Day

 

Dadaism is an interesting movement originating in the early 20th century as a response to the war and the rapid rise and influence of the bourgeois. With the expansion of the middle class over the upper and lower classes, society was beginning to look much alike. Working men and women were beginning to develop similar ideologies, ways of life, styles and increasingly similar ways of thinking and logic. It was these latter ideals that were concerning the Dadaists who believed that the bourgeois ideals of nationalism and colonial interests were responsible for the war. What makes Dadaism so intriguing is that the concept of Dadaism by its own nature and admission must also be against itself this would happen in the extreme corners of Dadaism (every movement has members of unfathomable fervour that dictate the extreme edges of the movement) where they were so intent on opposing all norms of bourgeois culture.

The movement began to become a seeming rejection of logic, government, nationalism, and colonial interests – whilst it has been described as a ‘spectacle of collective homocide’ (Kliener, 2006) its focus was on prizing nonsense, irrationality and intuition. At it’s core though – Dadaism was simply a matter of rejecting common ways of thinking originating from the nationalist bourgeois. Where the bourgeois would develop an aesthetic interest, it was Dada’s intent to oppose that interest; if art was intended to appeal to the individual then Dada would subvert that ideal into an intention to offend. Dada attempted to ‘ignore’ aesthetics.

However, in doing so it produced a dichotomy of aesthetics which would inevitably develop its own flair and style. That can also be translated to adult toys – the very style of the toys from the wonderful creators of Divine Interventions is meant to offend in a cheeky way of mocking religion. They consist of fun and playful toys which include a baby Jesus butt plug, a bible Masturbator, a Buddha’s dildo and a jackhammer Jesus. These toys exist in a world where sex toys are meant to be separated from religion – this almost Dadaist ideal subverts that notion whereby it dismisses the traditional ways of thinking about religion and sex toys and unites them.

This inevitably creates a certain aesthetic style. It is therefore impossible to have no aesthetic appeal, or rather, create an object that is against aesthetic appeal because you must have something to appeal against – and in creating that contrast – you’ll find yourself back at square one. Rejecting the traditional aesthetic design of toys and understanding that the idea of sex and nature aren’t two concepts that need to be viciously separated – BMS Factory utilised the essence of nature and the sense of natural in their design of toys for the Leaf Series. Based on designs and elements found within nature these sex toys demonstrate how a rejection of the traditional ways of thinking can be utilised.

What Dadaism didn’t realize at the time through their attempted destruction of the standard ways of thinking was how much of a force of change they could be. In a way similar to the extreme Socialist Alternative of today’s political sphere, Dadaism had a goal; to see the destruction of ideologies based on the working class, government and the removal of nationalist thought. What Dadaism and the Socialist Alternative don’t have, is a plan for after that goal – and therein lays the reason why as to why neither movement could have, nor ever will succeed. Dadaism therefore can be likened to a failed attempt to deconstruct aesthetics in order to critique and argue against increasingly normal and standard ways of thinking.  Look at the people who can quite easily be argued to be modern day Dadaists;

 

Yoko Ono

 

Madonna

 

Lady Gaga

lady gaga

 

All three of these individuals claim to be unique, claim to be outside the realm of definition and style – yet by that very nature they have created an aesthetic which is invariably them but also represents a resounding sense of logic and style that inevitably transcends to their fans and devotees. Their chaos is the very essence of their brand, that chaos is both at once chaotic but also predictable. It’s marketable and it has a force. Again, we can see how elements of Dadaism can be subverted, taken on board and used in a sense of good and to be a catalyst for change so long as it has a long term goal in mind. Madonna and her ways of thinking, paved roads of gold for feminist thought and Lady Gaga quickly became a champion for all those that were considered different or, as she affectionately calls them, ‘monsters’. By the very nature of loving or hating them they have created an unavoidable aesthetic. With that in mind when Dadaism states that it can ignore aesthetics – it simply cant. Any variation of the general ideal of modern aesthetics would simply become another facet of thought. At the core of Dadaism lies a simple fundamental thought – to combat traditional ways of thinking that arose from colonial and nationalist perspectives within the bourgeois. At the end of the day however, the middle class is what dictates the way the world works – the popular vote of governments, the primary spending power of the economy and the simple notion that collective thought is something that we as humans will never escape from.

The dadaism movement is gaining momentum again and is even found in hip hop, doll making and more.  The resurgence of the dada movement seems to have spiked after Nan June Paik had a musical exhibition showing her dada beliefs -

 

Dadaism in Modern Advertising

The weirdest development in modern-day advertising is dad advertising. A remarkable new school and concept of advertising has surfaced in the past 10 years.  Dada Ads blow all the accepted rules of advertising out of the water.  The Absurdist World of Dada Advertising.

Dadaists are often transfixed by the yin and yang of what is called the Dada Advertising by the great pharmaceutical companies. Dada advertising was legitimized in 1998 when Bob Dole—war hero, beloved senator and distinguished presidential candidate—starred in a TV commercial for Viagra, where he talked with jaw-dropping candor about his inability to get an erection.

The Greatest, Most Persuasive Line in the History of Advertising or copy anywhere was most likely not the product of a copywriter, but rather a case of accidental pure brilliance by a doctor or a lawyer. It absolutely dominates this commercial—and all other E.D. efforts (e.g., Cialis):

… seek immediate medical help for an erection lasting more than four hours.

Can you think of any advertising ever where you are promised comfort and healing and then threatened with serious illness and death if you ingest the product?  This is pure Dadaism.