Who's Your Dada?

Just when you were getting used to calling your humble snow shovel In Advance of the Broken Arm, the twilight of [Lawrence's Dada Month][1] is upon us. As an elegy, Art is providing you with a quick primer. Sure, this should have been provided at the beginning of Dada Month, but Dada being what it is, you're lucky to get nouns and verbs in the same sentence. ![][2]Those who determine such parameters set the span of Dada from 1915 to 1922. Launched as a protest movement following World War I, it set out to show that what we-civilization-could no longer believe in what previously was held as true. As historian Anthony F. Janson puts it, "In its calculated irrationality there was also liberation, a voyage into unknown provinces of the creative mind. The only law respected by the Dadaists was that of chance, and the only reality, that of their own imaginations."Dadaists are most recognized, and scoffed, for their ready-mades-items, such as the stolid snow shovel, that are elevated to high art simply by being placed in a gallery by an artist. As easy of a target as that may seem, the truth is that the Dadaists blew the lid off the whole shebang. One could argue that Dadaism was the initial kick in the ass high art needed, and it opened the way for Surrealism, Conceptualism, and many of the other -isms of visual art since then.![][3]We have two more days-Oct. 17 and Oct. 26-to embrace Dada Month in Lawrence. Let your imagination take center stage. Recognize the mad genius of your kids hopped up on sugar and television-give the critters some glue and let them go to town. Men, understand the high-art importance of that urinal you're pissing in. If anything, spend one day taking Marcel Duchamp's creed to heart: "I have forced myself to contradict myself in order to avoid conforming to my own taste.": : : : : :Coffee Shop ComicsI've been known to go on at great length about how Lawrence art really seems to be on the brink of something big, something exciting that just needs that one right thing to set it on fire. My eye, and bets, are on Dave Loewenstein's 4-1-1 Art Space to light the match. Loewenstein's one of the hardest-working cats in the business, painting murals and writing books and planting community gardens as a matter of course. Then he'll start up a protest troupe or teach workshops in his studio. Or he'll use his studio as a gallery and show off other artists from around town, which is precisely what is happening this week.[The Jim Lee Show][4] opens Friday, Oct. 13th, from 6 to 10 p.m. Displayed will be 40 original hand-drawn pages from Lee's "epic, unauthorized semi-autobiographical graphic novel" (take that, you wily Dada!). When it comes to characters, Lee's picked a good one. Read more about him in [Loewenstein's excellent portrait][5] from last winter. The Jim Lee Show continues weekends through Oct. 29 (1 to 5 p.m.). [1]: http://www.lawrence.com/news/2005/dec... [2]: http://www.dallasartsrevue.com/art-crit/Ken_Shaddock/Duchamp-sinuses-sm.jpg [3]: http://www.a525g.com/art/_images/marcel-duchamp-2.jpg [4]: http://www.lawrence.com/events/2006/oct/13/16642/ [5]: http://www.lawrence.com/blogs/blank_canvas/2006/feb/03/coffeeshop/

Comments

thetomdotdot 13 years, 2 months ago

I'll smile a little deeper at the roundabouts from now on.

lori 13 years, 1 month ago

I thought that Boog proclaiming Dada "month" in Lawrence was awesome; I guess one could say I totally supported it, if it was something that required such support.

Leslie, you hold my wit and literary knowledge in too high of esteem. I meant Stu.

thetomdotdot 13 years, 1 month ago

Reading through the comments on the dada links, I'm surprised at the backlash. I believe Boog suffered a stroke of genius, and whats the harm?

"Highberger's fellow commissioners watched with a smile but didn't offer any remarks as part of the proclamation." This must have been one of the purest moments of a mutual celebration of art and politics imaginable. I wish I'd been there.

tomking 13 years, 1 month ago

Dada was to visual art what the Ramones were to rock and roll--a breath of fresh air. Dave Loewenstein is a breath of fresh air in the Lawrence arts scene.

lori 13 years, 2 months ago

I Dada;

oh wait, I meant Papa.

Sorry, I'm a dork, it just popped into my head the first time I read this and I couldn't contain myself anymore.

leslie 13 years, 2 months ago

No worries, Lori. We are indeed Hemingway fans as well!

leslie 13 years, 2 months ago

Downtown Lawrence Mural Walking Tour

Sunday, October 15th 3:00pm

Meet at the Lawrence Public Library in the Gallery Room

In conjunction with the release of "Kansas Murals: A Traveler's Guide" co-authors Lora Jost and Dave Loewenstein will be leading a 90 minute tour of murals in downtown Lawrence. Special guests include mural artists Stan Herd and Tim Holtzclaw. The tour will include the largest finger painted mural in the world, Liberty Hall's "Starry Way", Century School's " Everything Connects to Everything" and more.

At the end of the tour, Jost and Loewenstein will sign copies of "Kansas Murals" at the Raven Bookstore.

This is a free event Hope to see you there!

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