Saturday, October 11, 2008

Dadaland

Hans Arp wrote:
Losing interest in the slaughterhouses of [the first] world war, we turned to the Fine Arts. While the thunder of the batteries rumbled in the distance, we recited, we versified, we sang with all our soul.


It's difficult to know what to make of this. On the one hand, one can admire the artistic sentiment; on the other hand the blind indifference to the suffering of fellow humans is offensive. Art has a duty not only to reflect, but to lead culture. The Dadaists did not, they existed in their own bubble. What are today's artists saying and doing to shape our culture? At least the Dadaists knew what they were (and were not) doing.

No comments: