Friday, September 14, 2007

Dada Fragments ...

“The image differentiates us. Through the image we comprehend.”

“The word and the image are one. Painting and composing poetry belong together. Christ is image and word. The word and the image are crucified …”

“We have developed the plasticity of the word to a point which can hardly be surpassed. This result was achieved at the price of the logically constructed, rational sentence, and therefore, also, by renouncing the document (which is only possible by means of a time-robbing grouping of sentences in a logically ordered syntax). . . . We have charged the word with forces and energies which made it possible for us to rediscover the evangelical concept of the ‘word’ (logos) as a magical complex of images …”

(Hugo Ball, “Dada Fragments)

“A work of art should not be beauty in itself, for beauty is dead.”

Order = disorder; ego = non-ego; affirmation = negation: the supreme radiations of an absolute art.”

“Dada is the signboard of abstraction; advertising and business are also elements of poetry.”

(Tristan Tzara, “Dada Manifesto 1918”)

“The expression of a picture cannot be put into words, any more than the expression of a word, such as the word ‘and’ for example, can be painted.”

“Art is a primordial concept, exalted as the godhead, inexplicable as life, indefinable and without purpose.”

“The medium is as unimportant as I myself. Essential is only the forming.”

(Kurt Schwitters, “Merz”)

“The obscurity of our words is constant. The riddle of meaning must remain in the hands of children. Reading a book to learn something denotes a certain simplicity. The little that the most famous works can teach us about their authors, or about their readers, should rapidly dissuade us from trying this experiment. It is the thesis that disappoints us, not its expression. I regret having to pass through these unclear sentences, receiving confidences without object, feeling at every moment, through the fault of some blabbermouth, a sense of knowing it already. The poets who have recognized this hopelessly flee the intelligible: they know that their work has nothing to lose. One can love an insane woman more than any other.”

“Some have spoken of systematically exploring the unconscious. For poets, it is nothing new to let oneself go and write according to the vagaries of one’s mind. The word inspiration, which for some reason has fallen into disuse, was once seen in a favorable light. Almost every true imagistic innovation, for example, strikes me as being a spontaneous creation.”

(André Breton, “For Dada”)

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