Seven Dada Manifestos and Lampisteries
Tristan Tzara—poet, literary iconoclast, and catalyst—was the founder of the Dada movement that began in Zürich during World War I. His ideas were inspired by his contempt for the bourgeois values and traditional attitudes towards art that existed at the time. This volume contains the famous manifestos that first appeared between 1916 and 1921 that would become the basic texts upon which Dada was based. For Tzara, art was both deadly serious and a game. The playfulness of Dada is evident in the manifestos, both in Tzara's polemic—which often uses dadaist typography—as well as in the delightful doodles and drawings contributed by Francis Picabia. Also included are Tzara's Lampisteries, a series of articles that throw light on the various art forms contemporary to his own work. Post-war art had grown weary of the old certainties and the carnage they caused. Tzara was on the cutting edge at a time when art was becoming more subjective and abstract, and beginning to reject the reality of the mind for that of the senses.
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But this magnificent quality of the mind is precisely the proof of its impotence.
People observe, they look at things from one or several points of view, they
choose them from amongst the millions that exist. Experience too is the result of
I admit that my friends don't approve of this point of view. But this Nothing can
only be expressed as a reflection of an individuality. That is why it will be useful to
everybody, as no one accords any importance to anything but himself.
The absurd doesn't frighten me because, from a more elevated point of view, I
consider everything in life to be absurd. It is only the elasticity of our conventions
that makes a link between disparate acts. Beauty and Truth in art don't exist; what
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Monsieur Antipyrines Manifesto
Tristan Tzaras Manifesto
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