Dada Venduza

 

Dada Venduza: The film“Art needs an operation” 
– Tristan Tzara

And so, as a concerned Dadaist, I decided to make a film. It was a natural decision to make considering that I have this blog that no one reads (present company excluded). The film will be titled ‘Dada Venduza’. Dada, of course, is short for Dadaism and ‘Venduza’ is the Greek word for both plunger and suction cup. Together, the words suggest something that ‘sticks’ and ‘sucks’.

Explaining the title is easy; explaining the film is less so. And, like dada, what results is both art and anti-art. Moreover, it’s hard to know where to begin describing something, especially a piece of art … or a piece of raw meat … once it is constructed, deconstructed and then nailed back together again. So has gone the making of the film – still in production and evolution.  As of this writing, live-action photography is almost complete and editing has already begun.

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Taking The Plunger: Is Dada Right For You?

 

'Lucky Dada' by Jay Schwartz“I speak only of myself since I do not wish to convince, I have no right to drag others into my river, I oblige no one to follow me and everybody practices his art in his own way.” – Tristan Tzara “Dada Manifesto 1918”

 

Thank you for reading this post. I’m not really sure why you did or what your expectations might be, but I sincerely thank you anyway. I feel it’s important to get that out of the way right from the start, before the confusion sets in. I may be a dadaist, but at the very least I’m also a humanist. Trust me, you can bank on that … just don’t bet the farm.

I tend to enter ‘dadaism’ on forms that request an entry for ‘religion’. Someone asked me the other day “what’s all this about dadaism?” I considered for a nanosecond how to respond before replying “oh you know, dadaismos … dada …” I received a curious albeit blank stare in return as I noticed the corners of his mouth begin to twitch ever so slightly. I SMiLEd and turned away, mouthing the words “have a narcissistic day”. My existence was justified.

Meanwhile, the aberrant logic of the times raged on all around me. In fact, it continues to do so to this day. I would tell you to ‘watch the 11 o’clock news’, but I don’t myself anymore and wouldn’t want to unintentionally to mislead you. Of course, it’s funny because I was breastfed on television, but I’ve weaned myself from it … and for the same reasons I don’t smoke; I refuse to be a slave.

And so I became a dadaist … and you can be one too, if you are inclined to take the plunger.

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Good Mourning, Dada: Nurturing The Contrived Nature Of Concrete Art

'Dada Saves' by Jay SchwartzEat your chocolate
wash your brain
dada
dada
gulp some rain.
– Tristan Tzara
 
 
I’m constantly amazed at the capacity some people have to fail as human beings, or more specifically as products of nature. We have such great inherent artistic talent, and yet we are so often contrived in our behavior. Nurturing, for some, is done selectively and with ulterior motives. Efforts to save the planet come only after we’ve all but destroyed it. The art of being fully human remains lost to many who are kept afloat by a flotilla of prefabricated and standardized ‘paint by the numbers’ ideologies and conventions.
 
I write this on the heels of my mother’s recent passing, so as I let the tides of emotion wash over my head, I’m a bit vulnerable to the often groaned about process of grieving. Whatever comes comes; whatever goes goes – the good, the bad and the inane. Good mourning to all, I say, especially to me.
 
Therefore, I have resolved to refuse any attempt to self-repress my emotions or self-censor my thoughts during this period of bereavement. Mind you, this doesn’t say much, since on almost any given day this notion is ‘par for the course’ for me anyway.

Dadaism: Defeating The Overlords of Information Overload

'Dada Shutdown' by Jay Schwartz“Can the knowledge deriving from reason even begin to compare with knowledge perceptible by sense?”
– Louis Aragon
 
 “Expert, texpert, choking smoker, don’t you hear the joker laugh at you?”
– John Lennon

 

Wherever you go, you find information. Of course, I do recognize that we are, after all, living in the ‘information age’, but I still can’t help but wonder where all this ‘information’ came from? Who discovered it? How did it begin to spread? Who continues to disseminate it and for what reason? I mean, today we are obviously all full it, so I think these are important considerations.

At some point in history, someone must have come along and said, “Hey there! You! Yes, you! I have some information for you.” Perhaps it was God or a visiting extraterrestrial tourist. Perhaps it was a squirrel. I have no clue. And that my friends is the point of today’s post: I have no clue. Yet, there is one thing I know for certain: there is simply too much information out there!

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Physics and the Cosmogony of Dadaism: The Balanced and Unbalanced

'Give Us Your Dada' by Jay Schwartz“I destroy the drawers of the brain, and those of social organisation: to sow demoralisation everywhere, and throw heaven’s hand into hell, hell’s eyes into heaven, to reinstate the fertile wheel of a universal circus in the Powers of reality, and the fantasy of every individual.”
– Tristan Tzara
 
“The first man to compare the cheeks of a young woman to a rose was obviously a poet; the first to repeat it was possibly an idiot”
– Salvador Dali

 

Who can argue with the ‘big bang’ theory, except perhaps the creationists … or perhaps the creator? Such a discussion would most certainly use, as an analogy, the making of popcorn: a daring activity that is fraught with danger, not just of an ordinary household nature, but of that with planetary wide significance (i.e., ‘BOOM’).

When popping corn in the confines of a kitchen, it’s the random mix of organic and temporal variables that allow corn kernels to ‘pop’ one or a few at a time. However, it should go without saying that with the right alignment of variables, a single ‘super-pop’ might occur in which all kernels will simultaneously explode together.

Given such an event, it is quite possible, under the right cosmogonical circumstances, for such an explosion to actually rip a hole in the fabric of space and time, creating a mini-black hole, which if left unconstrained will turn us, and all manner of creation in this parsec of the universe, inside out.

Now, I don’t confess to be much of a physicist, but to some extent, you can’t get around certain laws of the related science. Most physicists understand that the study of physics, therefore, is not something that should be practiced at home, and is best left to facilities such as the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), where the art of popping corn can be studied in safety.

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Down To Clown: Dadaism Meets Occupy Wall Street

'Dada Manisfestation' by Jay Schwartz“Every word that is spoken and sung here (the Cabaret Voltaire) represents at least this one thing: that this humiliating age has not succeeded in winning our respect.”
– Hugo Ball
 
“Apparently nothing will ever teach these people that the other 99 percent of the population exist.”
– George Orwell

 

It’s just another day on planet Earth. The warmongers are rattling their sabers. The power-mongers are scheming. Political pundits, regardless of their place in the political void, are preaching to their own choirs, and pseudo-intellectuals everywhere are mentally masturbating over whether or not the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement has faded away, even as its 2-year anniversary approaches.

Meanwhile, the rich (1%) are getting richer, the poor (99%) are getting poorer … and the ‘dadas’ are still creatively angst-ridden, at least this one is. Oh, and while we’re on the subject of existential angst, please note that I ‘might’ be facing deportation at sometime in the near future. Despite what my lawyer says, I reserve the right to be paranoid.

After all, having traded ‘standard of living’ for ‘quality of life’ about 18 years ago, I remain an American living in Greece, or so my pedigree and permanent resident papers claim, despite my personal non-conformity to either countries’ national norms.

Speaking of norms, I can’t help but draw a parallel between OWS and Dadaism, especially in regard to both movements’ anti-establishment stance on ‘the system’. In the faces of both personal and societal upheaval, both movements delight in rejecting the logic and reason of a fallacious zeitgeist that slavishly adheres to a system of personal slavery that’s been irrevocably broken for quite some time.

Of course, some people just don’t get it, claiming that it is human nature to bring order to what is perceived as chaos. Regardless of the fact that chaos may very well have its own brand of symmetry, hair-loss becomes rampant for some when presented with a square peg and a round hole.

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Free Dada Riot

'Dada Hero' by Jay Schwartz Dada is like your hopes: nothing.
Like your paradise: nothing.
Like your idols: nothing.
Like your heroes: nothing.
Like your artists: nothing.
Like your religions: nothing.
-Francis Picabia
 
“In those days we were all Dadaists. If the word meant anything at all, it meant seething discontent, dissatisfaction and cynicism. Defeat and political ferment always give rise to that sort of movement.”
– George Grosz

 

How often do you bang your head against the same wall? Why is it so hard to learn some lessons? Why are we addicted to stupidity and denial? Why are we suckers for flights of fancy? Why do we allow our egos to get the best of us?

These question are easily answered, but require large dollops of mind altering ‘faith’ that are not easily swallowed. In fact, by nature our egos detest blind-faith in anything. So instead we moan, groan and bitch about life and learn to mentally masturbate ourselves into insanity and denial.

Now, no one said life itself was easy. In fact, no one said anything of any nature! We arrive in this plane of existence with no guarantees. We have no receipt for the deeds of past lives; we are born with a clean slate. Our whole lives are ahead of us … followed by our inevitable deaths. Whether we will be granted another ‘go’ on the carousel of life is a matter of speculation … especially for the blind leading the blind.

In the meantime, God (fill-in this space with of your choice here or enter ‘not applicable’ if you are an atheist/agnostic) gives us different talents, abilities and proficiencies to help us get by in terms of finding happiness and maintaining our sanity. Yet, we regularly misuse or ignore these capacities, preferring instead to enslave ourselves to a system we call ‘the establishment’ that sucks away on our life force on a daily basis. This ‘golden calf’ keeps us distracted from what’s important in life, while it encourages us to look over ‘there’ to what we are ‘without’, rather than over ‘here’ to what would constitute as ‘within’.

Yet for some, questions persist …

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