Dada and Surrealism


As the WWI (1914-1918) began, mass destruction both on human and places, human values were lowered as machine and tools. Like many people had to participate in wars and for those who did not need to go on war, they needed to make as many war tools and production as they could.

Therefore, a new irrational movement began by European artists (1915-1922), entitled Dada, which found randomly from a dictionary. Dada is to aim to shock audience to ironic to the war in a different kinds of way.


AS07475.jpgMan Ray — Indestructible Object 1920

It is a metronome that have a chip attached with an eye on the metal piece of the metronome. The eye is referred as audience while Man ray was painting (or his ex-lover), and the metronome was used when he painting, since he can control the speed of his brush stroke regularly. When the metronome stopped, he would know that he had been painting for too long. He smacked it into pieces, but he remade it and broke it again several times, with a different names every time in different exhibition. In my opinion, smacking down things and rebuild is like when you had an outrage and you could not bear it, you got urge to destroy it because of anger, like relationship. But the aftermath, you got clam down and restart again, like a cycle.


Paintings of Surrealism always shown irrational objects and landscapes, it is alike of dreams and you would not see it in real world.

Dalí — Metamorphosis of Narcissus, 1937

It is a famous painting with a story of a boy with Narcissus. Once he went to the water and being self-obsessed with the reflection of himself on the water, he died because of frustration as he could not fall in love with himself. As a symbol that being narcissus is not nice. There are 2 big objects, the behind one is a mankind-like figure sink into the water. Another one is a hand holding a cracked egg, with a flower (daffodil) growing from it. It revealed the death of Narcissus  from being asleep-liked holding a new narcissus, in another words, the exist of narcissus is everlasting, the death of it will grow up another one again.

To conclude, with some idea of Dada and Surrealism, there are similarity. One of those is that they are irrational. Dada seeing accident as a process of their art pieces, and they are being violence , as they would destroy their art as an act od art. And surrealism is that having something that do not have in the reality, as a form of not being rational. Secondly, they are like running away from reality. For Dada, they just enjoy doing their art when there is war, where human used as war machine, they did it as a strike back, ironically. For Surrealism, they went into dream and something beyond reality, as an art, to think, reflect.

Reference : http://www.tate.org.uk

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