Dada came out of the craziness of World War One. "The birth of Dada was not the beginning of art but of disgust." Surrealism tried to systematize Dada's anarchy into an artistic blend of ... See full summary »
Dada came out of the craziness of World War One. "The birth of Dada was not the beginning of art but of disgust." Surrealism tried to systematize Dada's anarchy into an artistic blend of Freudian psychoanalysis and Marxist provocation. In the interests of conquering the irrational, Salvador Dali opened exhibitions dressed in a diving suit, Marcel Duchamp turned himself into woman, Benjamin Peret assaulted priests, and Yves Tanguy ate spiders. Andre Breton, nicknamed "the Pope of Surrealism", led an inspired gang of artists, lunatics and writers. By the 1950s they were denouncing each other for betraying the movement, but their ideas had infected Hollywood, advertising agencies and were turning up as TV humor and album covers. Written by
Outstanding in-depth study of the 20th century art movements
Gold's film is a model of its kind - indeed it's impossible to see how such a thoroughly researched and meticulously presented documentary study of an art movement would get made today. God bless the old Arts Council of Great Britain.
Anyone with an interest in 20th Century art should get hold of a copy. The film's very varied riches include gems such as a most entertaining interview with the mischievous Marcel Duchamp, the contemporary sounds of Dada poetry being read (if that is the word) and actors solemnly intoning the thoughts of Surrealist activists, half playful and half deadly serious. The film sees Dada and Surrealism as an intellectual current, often inextricably bound up with radical politics, something easily forgotten in an age where art can be a branch of celebrity culture. Above all it gives context, intellectual, social, economic and political. Dada and Surrealist objects were not just brilliant visual witticisms (a pair of women's shoes with flesh and blood toes etc etc), they were - and are - much more dangerous than that.
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