Culture / Art Republik

Art Stage Singapore: Dada on Tour

We look at a century of influence by the art movement with a traveling multimedia installation called ‘Dada on Tour’.

May 17, 2016 | By Staff Writer

At Art Stage 2016, Bruno Art Group collaborated with the ‘Dada 100 2016 Zurich’ jubilee association and Zurich-based Cabaret Voltaire, where Dadaism first began, to celebrate the art movement’s centenary. At the gallery’s booth were the travelling multimedia installation, ‘Dada on Tour’ and works of Dada artist Marcel Janco.

The Dadaist movement was precipitated by a sense of disillusionment from World War I, and was a reconsideration of all conventional, established ideas, including those about art. A group of artists and poets in Zurich questioned what art could be, and rebelled against its traditional definitions. One of the most iconic artworks of the movement is Marcel Duchamp’s ‘Fountain’ (1917) – a porcelain urinal – from the artist’s ‘Readymades’, which presented readymade objects as artworks, privileging the concept over the aesthetic.

‘Dada on Tour’ was exhibited for the first time at Art Stage Singapore. Previously, it had been to Hong Kong, New York, Rio de Janeiro, Kochi and Cologne. Adrian Notz, Director of Cabaret Voltaire says, “In each location, it was set up in very different contexts. In Hong Kong, we used the tent as a base camp to explore different parts of the city. In New York, it was part of a Dada festival, while in Rio de Janeiro, it was part of a museum exhibition, where we conducted workshops with local performance artists.” ‘Dada on Tour’ will continue to travel, and was in Beirut in March. It will be in New York May 18-22.

Entering the tent, one could see a projection of the names of 165 Dada artists on the ceiling, and watch a 27-minute film on the history of Dada, featuring a comprehensive survey of Dada works. Notz noted the positive reception of fair-goers to the installation. He said, “What I like a lot about the reactions here in Singapore is that people tried to connect to Dada through their own cultural background, through Asian perspectives.”

Motti Abramovitz, Founder of Bruno Art Group, which has galleries in Israel, Singapore, Turks and Caicos Islands and USA commented, “Aside from art connoisseurs, the general public at Art Stage Singapore were not familiar with Dada. The exhibition, ‘Dada on Tour’, was a fun and interactive way to experience and discover Dada, a movement that plays a significant role in Western art history. Visitors were quite curious about this nomadic tent. Many people stopped to admire it and asked questions about the project.”

The works from Janco did well at the fair. Abramovitz says, “There was strong interest in Marcel Janco’s works, which resulted in several purchases. This solo presentation of his work at the fair was an introduction, for many collectors, to Janco’s illustrious career, and through this exhibition, we have educated visitors about his practice.”

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This article was originally published in Art Republik.

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