Conference: DADA TECHNIQUES IN EAST-CENTRAL EUROPE (1916–1930)
October 13-15, 2016
1033 Budapest, Fő tér 1, Zichy castle, Hungary
International Conference organized by the Petőfi Literary Museum – Kassák Museum and the Institute for Literary Studies of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences
For the full programme, please see The Kassak Museum website
The conference of the Petőfi Literary Museum – Kassák Museum and the Institute for Literary Studies of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences marks the centenary of the beginning of Dada in Zurich. The conference concentrates on Dada phenomena in East-Central Europe, especially the Dada techniques that appeared in the Austro-Hungarian Empire and its successor states. The avant-garde artists of the East-Central European region felt the impact of Dada at the end of the First World War, when established economic, political and identity strategies were going through crisis and rearrangement. In these years, many borders became blurred: between centre and periphery, between politics and anti-politics, and among genders, artists’ roles and forms of artistic expression.
A distinctive attitude of Dada was the crossing of borders, and this had a uniquely emancipating role: by suspending traditional social norms, it opened the way to artistic self-realization without borders. Dada dispensed with the questions of origin, religious background, women’s role stereotypes or even formal artistic training. It removed the moral barriers to asking previously inconceivable and provocative questions concerning artistic creation and reception, institutions, society and public taste in general. Dada was a symptom of the decomposition of the old world. Its radical language had an impact even on artists who never called themselves ‘Dadaists’.
What did avant-garde artists use Dada for in East-Central Europe during the 1910s and 1920s? Certainly to commit systematic border incursions. The borders were those between languages, majority and minority identities, politics and anti-politics. The sections of the conference discuss these artistic border incursions.