Dada Culture: Critical Texts on the Avant-Garde available in Hardcover
- Pub. Date:
- Brill Academic Publishers, Inc.
How Dada is to break its cultural accommodation and containment today necessitates thinking the historical instances through revised application of critical and theoretical models. The volume Dada Culture: Critical Texts on the Avant-Garde moves precisely by this motive, bringing together writings which insist upon the continuity of the early twentieth-century moment now at the start of the twenty-first. Engaging the complex and contradictory nature of Dada strategies, instanced in the linguistic gaming and performativity of the movement’s initial formation, and subsequently isolating the specific from the general with essays focusing on Ball, Tzara, Serner, Hausmann, Dix, Heartfield, Schwitters, Baader, Cravan and the exemplary Duchamp, the political philosophy of the avant-garde is brought to bear upon our own contemporary struggle through critical theory to comprehend the cultural usefulness, relevance, validity and effective (or otherwise) oppositionality of Dada’s infamous anti-stance.
The volume is presented in sections that progressively point towards the expanding complexity of the contemporary engagement with Dada, as what is often exhaustive historical data is forced to rethink, realign and reconfigure itself in response to the analytical rigour and exercise of later twentieth-century animal anarchic thought, the testing and cultural placement of thoughts upon the virtual, and the eventual implications for the once blissfully unproblematic idea of expression. From the opening, provocative proposition that historically Dada may have been the falsest of all false paths, the volume rounds to dispute such condemnation as demarcation continues not only of Dada’s embeddedness in western culture, but more precisely of the location of Dada culture.
Ten critical essays – by Cornelius Partsch, John Wall, T. J. Demos, Anna Schaffner, Martin I. Gaughan, Curt Germundson, Stephen C. Foster, Dafydd Jones, Joel Freeman and David Cunningham – are supplemented by the critical bibliography prepared by Timothy Shipe, which documents the past decade of Dada scholarship, and in so doing provides a valuable resource for all those engaged in Dada studies today.
About the Author
Dafydd Jones has written and published on Dada within the Crisis and the Arts: The History of Dada series, presenting work on the avant-garde in the field of critical theory, most recently to the Avant-Garde Project’s Mapping the Neo-Avantgarde conference at the University of Edinburgh (2005). He lectures in twentieth century and contemporary art practice at Cardiff School of Art, working in text broadcast, and is the editor of the University of Wales Press.
Table of Contents
Introduction: der Holzweg der Holzwege
I. Manifestos and Evenings at the Cabaret Voltaire
Cornelius PARTSCH: The Mysterious Moment: early Dada performance as ritual
John WALL and Dafydd JONES: The Body of the Voice: corporeal poetics in Dada
II. Dada and Language
T. J. DEMOS: The Language of “Expatriation”
Anna Katharina SCHAFFNER: Assaulting the Order of Signs
III. Dada Siegt!
Martin Ignatius GAUGHAN: The Prosthetic Body in Early Modernism: Dada’s anti-humanist humanism
Curt GERMUNDSON: Montage and Totality: Kurt Schwitters’s relationship to “tradition” and “avant-garde”
IV. Thinkers on Stage
Stephen C. FOSTER: The Mortality of Roles: Johannes Baader and spiritual materialism
Dafydd JONES: To Be or Not To Be ... Arthur Cravan: subject, surface and difference
V. Philosophy, Theory and the Avant-Garde
Joel FREEMAN: Ernst Bloch and Hugo Ball: toward an ontology of the avant-garde
David CUNNINGHAM: Making an Example of Duchamp: history, theory, and the question of the avant-garde
VI. Dada Critical Bibliography
Timothy SHIPE: A Decade of Dada Scholarship: publications on Dada, 1994–2005
List of illustrations