Totally Dada

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“With the sound of gusting wind in the branches of the language trees of Babel, the words gave way like leaves, and every reader glimpsed another reality hidden in the foliage.”   Andrei Codrescu (from Goodreads.com)

The vocabulary of the art world often sounds to others as a strange and different language.  It is.  Strange and different.   So strange and different is this language that many articles and occasionally, books are published to enlighten those living in the dark and unable to speak it.  Translations of the language vary, are ever changing and hard to keep up with.  But the Art World’s unique speech may have met its match now that it has found its way into the Urban Dictionary.

 ArtNews has an article on Artspeak, the book by Robert Atkins.  Atkins’ book translates this strange and different language.  According to the article, Atkins realizes how this unique language may actually alienate people unable to fully decode it.  As Atkins states in the article, “Somehow the language used for describing and discussing art has an unusual opacity, even sadism.” Sadism?  No wonder the urban language is moving in on the art language.

Dada is one of those art movements that makes no sense at all and was apparently the purpose of the Dada artists.  So why create art that makes no sense and purposely is meant to confuse people?  Sounds a bit sadistic. But now we have a new and improved meaning for Dada. According to the Urban Dictionary, “Dada is anti-art, yet art”. “That is so Dada. It breaks all the rules yet make sense.”  Really? And one wonders why people think artists are crazy.

So if you haven’t mastered the traditional art speech, have no fear.  You can always go with the new art speech found in the Urban Dictionary.  FlavorWire.com tells you how.  You will soon be able to tell if someone is “a total Picasso.”  Or maybe you will notice, happily, that someone is “totally Rembrandt.”  But whatever you do, you don’t want to go, “totally Bob Ross!”  And that is “so totally Dada.”

Photo is Man Ray’s The Gift, a classic example of Dada Art!

6 thoughts on “Totally Dada

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