” Art, for us, is not an end in itself, but an opportunity for true perception and criticism of the times in which we live”
” Our art is a burning search for the buried face of this age, for the possibility of it being stirred, awakened “
” The Dadaist wages war against the agony of our age and its intoxication with death.”
” The Dadaist is convinced of the overall connection between all entities and beings ..”
Founded in 1916 at Cabaret Voltaire in Zurich by the German writer, musician-philosopher and mystic Hugo Ball, the seminal art movement known as Dada, by 1922 had as its diverse European hub-expressions Zürich, Paris ( Tzara, Picabia) , Barcelona, Cologne, Hanover ( Schwitters) and Berlin ( Huelsenbeck, Heartfield ) as well as of course NY Dada ( Duchamp, Man Ray ) – yet curiously no UK Dada expression was ever established, the only artist associated with the original movement to live (briefly) in the UK – Kurt Schwitters – having had his Merz artwork ridiculed ( deemed ‘rubbish’ ) and predictably ignored by the perennially elitist London art establishment of 1945/6; and perhaps that explains why. In fact it says a lot about the entrenched longevity and depth of UK arts elitism that it wasn’t until 65 years after the artist’s death that Schwitters was offered a retrospective – and even then reference to deeply moral issues within his work that might resonate with events going on at the time was effectively redacted from the show.
London Dada, founded by multimedia artist and writer Michael St.Mark in late 2005, pioneered the online art gallery genre via 691 ( quickly shadowed by Saatchi Online in 2006 ) is representing that historically missing link in Dada by reviving the original ideals of its founder and father, Hugo Ball, by invoking vitally needed political, social and moral perception, invention, criticism and protest within heavily censorial and elitist British contemporary art and the spiritual shipwreck that is UK society today.
Dada, cutting-edge scourge of the establishment and undisputed catalyst for the sea change in art that occurred during the early 20th C., finally has its missing jigsaw piece London expression – a 21st century cyber and public art antidote for the hi-jacking, side-tracking and stifling of UK art into a tightly closed shop with multiple toughened glass ceilings run by a clique of old school tie cronies who use money as a means of rigging the art market into turning massive personal profits. Heading a network of kowtowing gallery owners, they render contemporary art virtually sterile; reducing the big galleries to little more than purveyors of the bawdy and the tawdry; selectively promoting through those evergreen guarantors of hype-to-order, the fawning career worths of the UK arts review media – a harem of hand-picked ‘shock or bore’ cash cow artists.
As against .. ” For us, art is not an end in itself … but it is an opportunity for the true perception and criticism of the times we live in.” – Hugo Ball, founder of DADA, 1916.
‘True perception and criticism of our times’ – subjects considered almost taboo in UK art today, where rampant cronyism and self-serving politics within the most insidiously entrenched and brazenly divisive class system in the world blocks truth, innovation and free range of expression throughout the arts.
” The British (establishment ) are never comfortable with artists who think” – Adrian Hamilton, arts reviewer @ The Independent.
” The art business is nothing if not an insidious knickerless tart” – Mike von Joel, editor, State magazine.
London Dada’s vision outwith this arts and culture morass of conformist stagnation and stasis, is the instigation of an ‘art spring’ – a 21st C. enlightenment that re-invigorates art with critical social commentary and new direction that eschews the anachronistic mediocrity and the worn-out cogs of contemporary art.
We’re currently inviting a development patron to invest in the London Dada brand and 691 gallery – an investor who feel passionately about the need for a new zeitgeist art that reflects current times, that addresses moral and social issues and injustices;, a fresh creative direction that critically engages and communicates rather than superficially entertains baffles or nauseates; in short art that re-connects with life, that offers fresh perceptions and thought-provoking narratives outwith the current unspoken yet stifling censorship of critical thought within UK art.Email us at; firstname.lastname@example.org
“London Dada – fresh art with true perception and moral protest, free of the establishment straightjacket of sterile conformity”.
Click on the above link to hear the account of how Dada began and the movement’s original content,
history and core values, as related in interview with its Zürich co-founder and leader of Berlin Dada; Richard Huelsenbeck.
Fine art photography is a relatively new form of artistic expression; compared to the time-honored mediums of painting and sculpture, the oldest examples of fine art photography just date back to the 19th century. Indeed, it was a struggle for early fine art photographers to have their work recognized as “high” art. However from the mid-late 20th C. onwards, photography has come to be recognized as an art form for its ability to communicate the photographer’s unique point of view and elicit profound emotional and other reactions from viewers. For this reason I prefer to use spontaneous – happening or chance ( a major factor in Dada ) – street & nature photography as The instant and eminently efficient contemporary 21st C. means for the eliciting and conveying of true perception and criticism of our times through art – Hugo Ball’s very definition of Dada.
Michael St.Mark, London 2014
LONDON DADA fast-access archive website & shop
691 Pop-In Gallery, Shoreditch