What involves four continents; over 20 nations; over 25 US states; 64 American artists; 36 international artists; a live, hungry chicken; over 120 two-dimensional works of art; over 30 sculptures; more than 39 videos; a solid half-dozen unclassifiable works; crazy stuff purchased on Etsy; three audience participation projects, plus a potential portrait of every idiot entering the room; two mannequins; numerous certified threats to dental health; two websites; four broadcast TV programs; live and machine-generated poetry readings; a musical performance on a quartet of bicycle wheels; dozens of broadsides and slogan-bearing placards; reams of text that devolve the English language into impenetrable mist; and the launch of one new, unnecessary journal; all of which will be tightly crammed into the University of Cincinnati Blue Ash College Art Gallery?
It’s called Dada Lives!
Dada Lives! is an international exhibition by contemporary Dada-inspired artists from across the United States, and over 20 other nations, conceived to celebrate the centennial of the founding of the Dada movement in 1916. The exhibition’s opening reception is also the publication party for a new, contemporary Dada art and poetry review, MetaDada: The International Journal of Dada Mining, the inaugural issue of which will be published on the 100th anniversary of the first Dada publication, Cabaret Voltaire, which appeared on May 15, 1916.
The exhibition will include four curated programs of Dada-inspired video work, collectively called “DadaVision,” that will be presented in the gallery. Three of these programs will also be broadcast over UCTV, University of Cincinnati’s broadcast television station. The broadcast programming will also be available as live streaming online. Check the UCBA Art Gallery website at www.ucblueash.edu/dadalives for the direct link, schedules and exhibition updates.
More in-depth information about the exhibition and screenings will also be available on https://metadadajournal.wordpress.com, which will feature additional works not included in the exhibition as well as reviews, interviews and critical response to the exhibition. Viewer participation dada-collage contests and DIY dada-poetry opportunities will be among the features of the MetaDada site that are being promoted in conjunction with the Dada Lives! exhibition.
This centennial exhibition was organized and curated for the UCBA Art Gallery by H. Michael Sanders, UCBA professor of electronic media. Professor Sanders has noted that Dada is one of the most pervasively influential forces in contemporary art, “Dada forms the foundation for most of the visual art practices from the modernist period onward including surrealism, pop art, performance, conceptual art and much more. This exhibition is an appropriately random survey of contemporary dada-inspired work by artists around the world.” Professor Sanders added, “Dada is not an historical art movement, but a frame of reference for seeing the inherently illogical nature of human beings and finding ways to utilize this feature of our mind in spontaneously positive ways to cut through the sea of dreck we confront daily.”
The opening reception, free and open to the public from 5:00-9:00pm on Friday, April 29, will feature several visitor participation pieces, dada poetry readings and other dada-inspired performances including an ensemble of Duchamp bicycle wheels performing dada sound compositions. The reception will also serve as the launch party for the print version of the contemporary dada journal MetaDada. We’ve heard rumors that local boy-made-good George Clooney (and maybe his dad Nick), along with Snoop Dog and crew, and actress Emma Thompson will all quite possibly be there to get their Dada on! They may also be joined by America’s oldest living dadaist, Ezekiel Snow, who is currently really old.