Constructivism (1919-22)El Lissitzky (1919)Beat the Whites with the Red wedge
„Lissitsky‟s vision for photography was both anti-pictorialist and multi- faceted.Above all, photography was to be at the service of the proletariat, part of themodernist revolution in which all art would act as a catalyst for social change.The artist, as Margit Rowell has written, would function firstly, „as a “worker”comparable to the proletarian worker, and eventually as a “constructor” or“engineer”. The notion of art as the expression of individual genius wasofficially proscribed, and replaced by an art that would be politically effective,socially useful and mass produced.‟Badger, G. The Genius of Photography: How photography haschanged our lives, Quadrille Publishing Limited, 2007, p.59
Constructivism (1919-22)Vladimir Tatlin (1920)Monument to the Third International[aka Tatlin Tower]
“Repelled by the slaughterhouses of the world war, we turned toart. We searched for an elementary art that would, we thought,save mankind from the furious madness of these times … wewanted an anonymous and collective art.” (Hans Arp)
Art Manifestos “The magic of a word - DADA - which for journalists has opened the door to an unforeseen world, has for us not the slightest importance. “ (Tristan Tzara, 1926) The Dada Manifesto was first released in 1916, written by Hugo Ball, and then in 1926 by Tristan Tzara (the entire manifesto can be found here: http://www.ralphmag.org/AR/dada.html). Dadaism appeared as an art movement against the conventions of art and expressed a rejection of the bourgeois, of preoccupations with war and of imperialist / colonial aspirations. Dada – a randomly chosen word from the French dictionaryHannah Höch, Cut with the (meaning hobby-horse) – celebrated ‘non-Kitchen Knife through the Last sense’, the unconscious, the random andWeimar Beer-Belly Cultural Epoch aimed to subvert the mainstream, acceptedin Germany, 1919 principles of art and conventions of thought.
Turning and turning in the widening gyreThe falcon cannot hear the falconer;Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhereThe ceremony of innocence is drowned;The best lack all conviction, while the worstAre full of passionate intensity.Surely some revelation is at hand;Surely the Second Coming is at hand.The Second Coming! Hardly are those words outWhen a vast image out of Spiritus MundiTroubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desertA shape with lion body and the head of a man,A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,Is moving its slow thighs, while all about itReel shadows of the indignant desert birds.The darkness drops again; but now I knowThat twenty centuries of stony sleepWere vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born? W. B. Yeats, The Second Coming, 1919
• World War One• Easter Rising 1916 (Ireland)• Russian Revolution 1917
Terms of the Versailles Treaty (Some main points)• Alsace & Lorraine returned to France• Demilitarised zone set up, France occupation of the Rhineland for 15 years• Germany to be disarmed• Germany had to accept full responsibility for the war• Reparations to be paid (announced in 1921 as £6,600 million)• A further series of peace treaties.
How does the avant-garde relate to modernism?modernism:- Specific trends of modernism that are generally cited are formal purity, medium specificity, art for arts sake, authenticity, universality, originality and revolutionary or reactionary tendency, i.e. the avant-garde.- the „abstractionist‟ account of Modernism is a highly selective, criticism/theory-based account- there have always been counter-movements and „others‟ in modernism
Modernism represents a withdrawal from politics and the public realm,which the avant-garde sought to reverse through the formation of anew politicized institution of art merged with life.
Futurism (1909-16)MANIFESTO OF FUTURISM (extracts)4. We declare that the splendor of the world has been enriched by a new beauty: thebeauty of speed. A racing automobile with its bonnet adorned with great tubes likeserpents with explosive breath ... a roaring motor car which seems to run on machine-gun fire, is more beautiful than the Victory of Samothrace.5. We want to sing the man at the wheel, the ideal axis of which crosses the earth, itselfhurled along its orbit.8. We are on the extreme promontory of the centuries! What is the use of lookingbehind at the moment when we must open the mysterious shutters of the impossible?Time and Space died yesterday. We are already living in the absolute, since we havealready created eternal, omnipresent speed.9. We want to glorify war — the only cure for the world — militarism, patriotism, thedestructive gesture of the anarchists, the beautiful ideas which kill, and contempt forwoman.10. We want to demolish museums and libraries, fight morality, feminism and allopportunist and utilitarian cowardice.F.T. Marinetti (1909)The Futurist Manifesto
Futurism (1909-16)Umberto Boccioni (1915)Charge of the Lancers
Futurism (1909-16) „Futurists have abolished quietness and statism‟ Umberto BoccioniUmberto Boccioni (1913)Unique Forms of Continuity in Space
Futurism (1909-16)Antonia Sant‟Elia (1914)La Citta Nuova
Dada (1916-22) “Repelled by the slaughterhouses of the world war, we turned to art. We searched for an elementary art that would, we thought, save mankind from the furious madness of these times ... we wanted an anonymous and collective art.” (Hans Arp)
Dada (1916-22)Cabaret Voltaire, Zurich Hugo Ball (1917) Karawane
Dada (1916-22)HOW TO MAKE A DADAIST POEM (T.Tzara)Take a newspaper.Take some scissors.Choose from this paper an article of the length you want to make your poem.Cut out the article.Next carefully cut out each of the words that makes up this article and put them allin a bag.Shake gently.Next take out each cutting one after the other.Copy conscientiously in the order in which they left the bag.The poem will resemble you.And there you are - an infinitely origial author of charming sensibility, even thoughunapprecia-ted by the vulgar herd.
Dada (1916-22) „...there is some confusion about this negativism. It was not an absolute negativism. It was a kind of dialectical negativism in the sense that we wanted to sweep away everything that came before our time, to see life and everything with new eyes and a new feeling.„ Tristan Tzara, BBC Radio interview, 1959
SurrealismMembers of the Bureau of Surrealist Research, Paris, 1924
SurrealismDictionary: Surrealism, n. Pure psychic automatism, by which one proposesto express, either verbally, in writing, or by any other manner, the realfunctioning of thought. Dictation of thought in the absence of all controlexercised by reason, outside of all aesthetic and moral preoccupation.Encyclopedia: Surrealism. Philosophy. Surrealism is based on the belief inthe superior reality of certain forms of previously neglected associations, inthe omnipotence of dream, in the disinterested play of thought. It tends toruin once and for all other psychic mechanisms and to substitute itself forthem in solving all the principal problems of life.Andre Breton (1924) The Surrealist Manifesto