DADA TECHNIQUES IN EAST-CENTRAL EUROPE (1916–1930)
Networks of Avant-Garde Movements Yesterday and Today
Avant-garde movements reached their peak during and after World War I. While before 1920 the centers of the Dada were mostly Zurich and New York, after this date new aspects of Dada invaded Central and East Central European cities, such as Prague, Brno, Zagreb, Beograd, Berlin, Vienna, Budapest, Kraków, Bucharest or Moscow. The research of both Dada the networks of the East-Central European avant-garde started during the 1970s and 1980s, shortly after the rediscovery of Russian avant-garde through the publications of Western and Russian researchers. New research was presented in the form of smaller exhibitions and catalogues, as well as international conferences. The keynote focuses on the aspects of research on East-Central European Dada from a personal and historiographical aspect.
Krisztina Passuth is a art historian, Professor Emeritus at the Institute of Art History of the Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest. Formerly, she has been working in the Hungarian National Gallery and the Department for Modern Art in the Museum of Fine Arts in Budapest. In Paris she has been working on the exhibitions Paris-Berlin and Paris-Moscow in the Centre Georges Pompidou. In 1989 she curated the exhibition of František Kupka in the Musée d'art moderne de la Ville de Paris. In 2006, she curated the exhibition Hungarian Fauves with György Szűcs in the Hungarian National Gallery, later on view in three French museums as well. She has been publishing widely on the questions of Central-European avant-garde networks, her main publications include the monographic study on László Moholy-Nagy (Thames and Hudson, 1985), Les avant-garde de l'Europe Centrale 1907-l927 (Flammarion, 1988) and the monograph of Étienne Beothy (2011).
Hungarian Dada: The Missing Link
It is a difficult task to locate and describe Hungarian Dada. International Dadaism can be easily defined as a brand, as an artistic style, or as a cultural movement that exceeds the barriers of artistic creation. Neither of these approaches is effective with the Hungarian scene, where hardly anyone used the actual Dada brand (declaring themselves part of Dada) and the pre-defined channels of political engagement didn't allow for the nonchalance of their Western counterparts. However, the prerequisites of Dada as an attitude were very much present, probably more so than anywhere else: the lost war, the two fallen revolutions, the loss of two-thirds of the country and the circumstances of a collective exile created a moral vacuum, a zero point of values which turned into a rich substrate for Dada, ‘the virgin microbe’. The circle of involuntary Dadaists included Kassák and Moholy-Nagy, even if only for a few months, before they found their new, Constructivist selves. The paper tries to locate the traces of this involuntary Dadaism.
András Kappanyos is a senior research fellow and head of the Twentieth Century department of the Hungarian Academy's Research Centre for the Humanities, Institute of literary Studies, Budapest, also a professor of the Institute of Hungarian Linguistics and Literature at Miskolc University. He has published widely on the avant-garde (especially Dadaism), on English-American and Hungarian Modernism, and translation and interpretation studies.
The Genesis of Dada: Futurist Influences in Romania, Germany and at the Cabaret Voltaire
This keynote address focusses on the work of four key Dada members: Hugo Ball, Richard Huelsenbeck, Emmy Hennings and Tristan Tzara. It examines how these figures came into contact with Futurism in their pre-Dada years, how they reacted to Marinetti's aesthetics and the press reports on the Futurist theatre performances in the years 1910-14, and how they took inspiration from the Italians for their own artistic production. In the second half of the talk I shall analyse the impact of Futurism on the Cabaret Voltaire, discuss the similarities and differences in Futurist and Dada poetry, and consider the question of whether the Futurist serata can be seen as a precursor of Dada performance.
Günter Berghaus is a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Bristol and has been Guest Professor at Brown University, Providence/RI and the State University of Rio de Janeiro. He has been principal organizer of several international conferences and has published over 20 books on various aspects of theatre and performance studies. He has also been a theatre director and has produced many plays from the classical repertoire and the historical avant-garde. He is a leading expert on Futurism, on which he published The Genesis of Futurism: Marinetti's Early Career and Writings, 1899-1909 (1995), Futurism and Politics (1996), Italian Futurist Theatre (1998), International Futurism in the Arts and Literature (2000), F. T. Marinetti: Selected Writings (2006), Futurism and the Technological Imagination (2009), Futurism in Eastern and Central Europe (2011), Iberian Futurisms (2013), Women Artists and Futurism (2015). He currently serves as general editor of the International Yearbook of Futurism Studies, Handbook of International Futurism, and of International Futurism 1945-2015: A Bibliographic Handbook.
Hubert van den Berg
Problems of East-Central European Dada
A range of fundamental problems have to be tackled, if we would like to come to an adequate historiography of Dada in the region nowadays referred to as East-Central Europe. I will concentrate on two major issues: (1) how to come to a both workable and adequate (set of) definitions of Dada both as a historical movement in the 1910s and 1920s (next to other, sometimes quite similar, if not identical contemporary movements in the period) as well as as a tradition line recuperated (if not invented) in the period after the Second World War. And (2) how to locate Dada as a transnational historical movement on the European map, with its profoundly shifting (political/‘national’) borders in the 1910s and 1920s as well as tradition line in the period of the Cold War and after.
Hubert van den Berg is professor in literary studies at the Department of Dutch Studies of the Palácky University in Olomouc and has published several books and articles on Dada, the European avant-garde and modernism. Some previous publications: Avantgarde und Anarchismus. Dada in Zürich und Berlin (1999), Metzler Lexikon Avantgarde (2009, edited with Walter Fähnders), Dada. Een geschiedenis (2016).