By On the occasion of our 20th anniversary
By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
What better time for a resurgence of Dadaism than now, as the world spirals ever further into absurdity? Inspired by the horrors of World War I, the original Dadaists responded by creating (anti-)artwork that reveled in the absurd and nonsensical. Why bother sitting down to paint a realistic depiction of a landscape when chances are it'll have the shit bombed out of it before you can finish? Better instead to just sign your name on a urinal and put it in a gallery. I mean, fuck it, right? Surrealists took what the Dadaists started and tamed it a bit, insisting that sometimes, a cigar is not just a cigar and giving us one of modern art's most confrontational mustaches, that of Salvador Dali. Ever looked at a piece of modern abstract art with disdain, thinking to yourself, "I could cough up something more aesthetically pleasing"? Perhaps you have a bit of Dada inside you—get your mind out of the gutter, that's not what I meant. Ever had a particularly meaningful dream that you've bored your friends with by recounting? You, my friend, have the potential to be a surrealist!
Feeling a little underwhelmed by this layman's explanation of modern art? This Tuesday, the Orange County Museum of Art is presenting a lecture illuminating the tenets of both of these related movements by actual art historians. No word on whether or not you'll score extra points with the lecturers if you wear a necklace made of chicken heads, but it's certainly worth a try.
Lecture on Dada and Surrealism at the Orange County Museum of Art, 850 San Clemente Dr., Newport Beach, (714) 759-1122. Tues., 6:30 p.m. $5-10.