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Cally Tan VA3.

Many people describe Dadaism to be an art movement but not a movement,
its artists not artists, and its arts not arts. So what exactly is Dadaism?

Firstly I will shed some light on the background of Dadaism. Dadaism started
during the early 20th Century, when World War 1 occurred. Due to the war,
many artists gathered for refuge In Zurich. Rather than being relief for having
been able to find refuge, these artists felt more angry and ticked off for the
reasons that caused the war. In order to express their protest, these artists
started an art movement that challenged art itself. Through Dadaism, these
artists expressed their dissatisfaction with aspect that caused the war, such as
nationalism, materialism and even art itself. (Hence the movement Dadaism is
art that is not art.)

The name Dada does not have a proper meaning, in fact its the word Dada
literally means hobby horse in French. The artists felt that the name was
suitable because what they produced indeed seemed retarded and
nonsensical to the public.

The subject matters that Dadaism often consisted were mild obscenities, and
most importantly puns to mock whatever the artist were unhappy with. These
artists used early shock art to portray their unhappiness to the public. Dadaism
greatly contributed to how the public would perceive art eventually. One such
example would be L.H.O.O.Q., an art work produced by Marcel Duchamp
where he added on a moustache onto a copy of the Mona Lisa. You can see
this from the picture attached to this slide.

The artists of the Dada art movement wanted to break away from art
traditions. They aimed to challenge the conformities of art and aspired to
evoke emotions from fellow viewers. It was expected that many viewers was
shocked and revolted, and Dadaism was often considered to be nonsensical.
But this reaction only encouraged the Dada artists to continue on with their
work. Eventually, the Dada art movement spread throughout Europe and
became popular among artists. Serious artists of that time, were already giving
recognition to the initially detested Dada. However in the 1920s, Dada
dissolved on its own.

In conclusion, the Dada art movement only embraces one rule. The rule to not
follow any rules at all. Furthermore, one of the main priorities of Dadaism is to
evoke strong emotions from their viewers. The Dada artists tried to achieve
such reactions by producing artworks of nonsensical concepts. So much so
that later on, people accepted it as being whimsical. The movement of
Dadaism was probably triggered by the influences of Abstractions and
Expressionism, which we can see from the expressive and slightly distorted
artworks of these artists. There was no predominant medium in Dadaism, in
fact many a times, artists used existing objects and assembled them together
to create collages and mash-ups. These were known as ready-mades , using
common, often mundane objects not generally considered to be art and
turning it into an art piece by adding to them and changing them. Dadaism has
become one of the main art movements that triggered Surrealism and
Constructivism. Most importantly, it introduced a new approach to art which is
Conceptual Art, by looking not at the physical appearance of the art but the
thought and purpose behind doing this piece of art.