by Alex Danchev
Read between April 15 - July 02, 2017
Up to now, literature has extolled a contemplative stillness, rapture and reverie. We intend to glorify aggressive action, a restive wakefulness, life at the double, the slap and the punching fist.
There is no longer any beauty except the struggle. Any work of art that lacks a sense of aggression can never be a masterpiece.
I am born Japanese. Just as a fish can’t live out of water, so I can’t live as a non-Japanese, even if I remain quiet about it. At the same time, just as a fish isn’t conscious that he’s wet in the water, so at times I’m not conscious that I’m Japanese.
No matter how non-Japanese, a work made by a Japanese can’t avoid being Japanese. Gauguin went as far as Tahiti and created non-French colours, but his works are, when you think of it, not in the Tahitian style but in the Parisian style.
We reject the Venice of foreigners, this marketplace of fake antique dealers, this magnet for universal snobbism and imbecility, this bed worn out by endless droves of lovers, this bath adorned with jewels for cosmopolitan whores, this immense sewer of traditionalism.
Lust, like pride, is a virtue that urges one on, a powerful source of energy.
A strong man must realize his full carnal and spiritual potentiality. The satisfaction of their lust is the conquerors’ due.
‘He who does not forget his first love will not recognize his last.’
Reds, rrrrrreds, the rrrrreddest rrrrrrreds that shouuuuuuut. 2. Greens, that can never be greener, greeeeeeeeeeeens that screeeeeeam, yellows, as violent as can be: polenta yellows, saffron yellows, brass yellows. 3. All the colours of speed, of joy, of carousings and fantastic carnivals, fireworks, cafés and singing, of music-halls; all colours which are seen in movement, colours experienced in time and not in space.
WE MUST INVENT FUTURIST CLOTHES, hap-hap-hap-hap-happy clothes, daring clothes with brilliant colours and dynamic lines. They must be simple, and above all they must be made to last for a short time only in order to encourage industrial activity and to provide constant and novel enjoyment for our bodies.
FORGET that you live in houses, that you may live in yourself– FOR the smallest people live in the greatest houses.
LOVE of others is the appreciation of oneself. MAY your egotism be so gigantic that you compromise mankind in your self-sympathy.
The masterpiece must die with its author. Immortality – so far as art is concerned – is infamy.
They are all just stupid dictators, the literati, the philosophers, the journalists
Dada is the heart of words. Each thing has its word, but the word has become a thing by itself. Why shouldn’t I find it? Why can’t a tree be called Pluplusch, and Pluplubasch when it has been raining?
Futurism marks a radical break in the course of world art, a crisis of art … Our time is one of metal, its soul is initiative and technology: the Futurists brought technology to its full potential
In junk shops pompously referred to as exhibitions, they sell the pure dabblings of landowners’ lordly daughters, and dachas in the style of ‘rococo’ and other Ludwigs.
Dada was born of a need for independence, of a distrust towards unity. Those who are with us preserve their freedom. We recognize no theory. We have enough Cubist and Futurist academies: laboratories for formal ideas. Is the aim of art to make money and cajole the nice, nice bourgeois?
Cézanne painted a cup twenty centimetres below his eyes, the Cubists look at it from above, others complicate appearance by making a perpendicular section, arranging it conscientiously on the side.
The Futurist sees the same cup in movement, a succession of objects, one beside the other, and maliciously adds a few force lines.
after all everyone dances to his own personal boomboom, and that the writer is entitled to his boomboom:
In the final issue of 391, in 1924, he announced a new movement, Instantaneism, an anti-movement which lived and died in that instant.
Dada Manifesto No more painters, no more writers, no more musicians, no more sculptors, no more religions, no more republicans, no more royalists, no more imperialists, no more anarchists, no more socialists, no more Bolsheviks, no more politicians, no more proletarians, no more democrats, no more bourgeois, no more aristocrats, no more armies, no more police, no more fatherlands, enough of all these imbecilities, no more anything, no more anything, nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing. We hope something new will come from this,
I’ve come to realize that all my friends, be they murderers or men of letters, are every bit as stupid as me. The worst offenders are those who enjoy taking themselves seriously. Why have you written a manifesto? They shout at me. I am writing a manifesto because I have nothing to say. Literature does exist, but in the heart of imbeciles. It’s absurd to divide writers into good and bad ones. On one side there are my friends and on the other, the rest.
We don’t take anything seriously. People do laugh but only to mock us. Dada is very happy.
Dada likes ringing on doorbells, striking matches and setting light to hair and beards. It puts mustard in chalices, urine in fonts and margarine in artists’ tubes of paint. It knows you and knows the ones who lead you. It likes you and doesn’t like them. You can be fun. You probably enjoy life. But you’ve got some bad habits. You’re too fond of what you’ve been taught to be fond of. Cemeteries, melancholy, the tragic lover, Venetian gondolas. You shout at the moon. You believe in art and respect Artists.
Mistrust your leaders. They exploit your ill-considered affection for the fake and the famous to lead you by the nose and make things even better for themselves.
Art is, and can only ever be, the expression of our contemporary life. Beauty, the institution, is exactly like the Musée Grevin [a waxworks museum] and bounces easily off the soul of shopkeepers and Art experts, caretakers of the museum church of the past’s crystallizations.
Cubism was a school of painting. Futurism a political movement: DADA is a state of mind. To compare them is patently either ignorant or pretentious. Free thinking in religious matters is nothing like a church. DADA is free thinking in artistic terms.
He who is busy today with the morrow is busy doing nothing. And he who tomorrow will bring us nothing of what he has done today is of no use for the future. Today is the deed. We will account for it tomorrow.
‘The philosophers have only interpreted the world in various ways; the point is to change it.’
the author’s notorious aphorism, ‘the house is a machine for living in’ – an improvement on Sant’ Elia (‘the Futurist house must be like a gigantic machine’) and an influential formulation. Cubist paintings were cleverly called ‘machines for seeing’ by the writer Jean Paulhan. Le Corbusier was an engineer of houses and human souls.
The ‘styles’ are a lie. Style is a unity of principle that animates all the works of an era and results from a distinctive state of mind.
Man sees architectural things with eyes that are 1 metre 70 from the ground. We can reckon only with goals accessible to the eye, with intentions that take the elements of architecture into account.
ask those who want to create a proletarian art: ‘What is proletarian art?’ Is it art made by proletarians themselves? Or art that only serves the proletariat? Or art intended to awaken proletarian (revolutionary) instincts? There is no such thing as art made by proletarians, because a proletarian who makes art is no longer a proletarian, but becomes an artist. The artist is neither a proletarian nor a bourgeois, and what he creates belongs neither to the proletariat nor to the bourgeoisie, but to all.
Art is a spiritual function of man, with the purpose of delivering him from the chaos of life (tragedy).
I believe in the future resolution of these two states, dream and reality, which are seemingly so contradictory, into a kind of absolute reality, a surreality, if one may so speak. It is in quest of this surreality that I am going, certain not to find it but too unmindful of my death not to calculate to some slight degree the joys of its possession.
It is important to dispel with the utmost speed a misleading idea which is confusing some young artists. We must correct certain hasty definitions, and establish that not all new art is revolutionary, nor is it really new.
It is sometimes difficult to know whether Dalí was made for Surrealism or Surrealism for Dalí. As he himself observed, ‘The only difference between me and a madman is that I am not mad.’
We call upon them to break with bourgeois ideas which seek to conceal violence and fraud, the corruption and decay of capitalist society. We call upon them to align themselves with the working class in its struggle against capitalist oppression and exploitation, against unemployment and terror, against fascism and war. We urge them to join with the literary and artistic movement of the working class in forging a new art that shall be a weapon in the battle for a new and superior world.
Fascist art rejects experiments or investigations, the endeavours which the current century has indulged in. It rejects above all the ‘consequences’ of these investigations, which have unfortunately been prolonged into the present.
We do not want to advocate hypothetical agreement on a single artistic formula – which would be practically impossible – but a precise and express artistic will to free art from subjective and arbitrary elements, such as that specious originality, which is desired and sustained only by our vanity.
Art must no longer reinforce differences. Art must serve the world’s new sense of communion. We practise the technique of joy. Only outmoded techniques feed off gloom, resentment and secrecy. Up with inventive jubilation. Down with the ill-omened moths of Existentialism or Romanticism. Down with the second-rate poets and their tiny wounds or insignificant intimate dramas. Down with all élite art. Up with collective art. ‘Kill the Optical,’ say the Surrealists, the last Mohicans of representation. ‘Exalt the Optical,’ we say. The key to everything: surround people with real things not with ...more
Western art, once the celebrator of emperors and popes, turned to serve the newly powerful bourgeoisie, becoming an instrument of the glorification of bourgeois ideals. Now that these ideals have become a fiction with the disappearance of their economic base,
What we call ‘genius’ is nothing else but the power of the individual to free himself from the ruling aesthetic and place himself above it.
It is painful, but mandatory, to abandon old values in order to assure the possession of new ones. Our position changed; our ethics, our aesthetic must in turn change.
For Gutai (concreteness or embodiment), making art that addressed the post-war world meant experimenting with new techniques and new materials – not the materials of high art, but the stuff of everyday life – old newspapers, sheet metal, masking tape, synthetic fabrics, inner tubing, light bulbs, plastic sheeting, water, mud, sand. When they used paint, they applied it with their feet, with automatic toy cars, or with glass bottles that shattered colour onto the canvas.
Today, however, they are no longer able to call up deep emotion in us. They already belong to a world of the past.
Auto-destructive art is an attack on capitalist values and the drive to nuclear annihilation.
everyone will become an artist, i.e., inseparably a producer-consumer of total culture creation, which will help the rapid dissolution of the linear criteria of novelty. Everyone will be a Situationist, so to speak, with a multidimensional inflation of tendencies, experiences, or radically different ‘schools’ – not successively, but simultaneously. We will inaugurate what will historically be the last of the crafts. The role of amateur-professional Situationist – of anti-specialist – is again a specialization up to the point of economic and mental abundance, when everyone becomes an ‘artist’, ...more