Dada: Merz (“something cast-off, as in junk”)

Dada was an international, avant-garde art and literary movement that flourished between 1915 and 1922. The Dadaists’ declared purpose was to protest the senseless violence of World War I, which they believed had made all established moral and aesthetic values meaningless. The term itself means “hobbyhorse” in French and was supposedly chosen at random from the dictionary. Dada promulgated anti-art and non-sense, declaring that art did not depend in any way on established rules or on craftsmanship;  the only law was that of chance, and the only reality that of the imagination. Dada is often viewed as nihilistic, but it can also be seen as a kind of thoughtful irrationality, a way toward liberation achieved by penetrating into the unknown regions of the mind. Dada appeared nearly simultaneously in Zürich, New York City, and Paris, and soon took hold in Germany.  It finally concentrated in Paris.

In Zürich, where political exiles of all kinds took refuge during World War I, Dada was initiated by Hugo Ball, a German actor and playwright;  Jean Arp, an Alsatian painter and poet; Richard Huelsenbeck, a German poet; Marcel Janco, a Romanian artist; and Tristan Tzara, a Romanian poet.  Together they founded the Cabaret Voltaire – a theater, literary gathering place, and exhibition center. They offered scandalous and mysterious entertainments, lectured, and exhibited together a variety of artists such as Arp, Giorgio de Chirico, Max Ernst, Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, and Pablo Picasso. Arp illustrated the works of Huelsenbeck and Tzara, and created a new type of collage by tearing pieces of colored paper and arranging them according to chance.  In 1918, Tzara wrote the manifesto for the movement.


Marcel Duchamp, who in 1915 had moved to New York City and in the same year coined the term “ready-made,” was the chief anticipator of Dada.  For his ready-mades, Duchamp took mundane objects such as snow shovels, urinals, and bottle racks, gave them titles, and signed them, thus turning their context from utility to aesthetics. Duchamp also invented word games, made an abstract film, and edited several reviews in the United States from 1913. His friend Francis Picabia worked with him and with Man Ray in New York on the Dada Review 291; Picabia founded the Dada Review 391 in Barcelona in 1917.

In 1919 Max Ernst launched Dadaism in Cologne with his friend Arp. Ernst’s type of collage technique was an important contribution to the Dada cause, as was the collage-painting of Kurt Schwitters, the chief figure of Dada in Hanover, Germany, who called Dada Merz, “something cast-off, junk.” Dada emerged as a group activity in Paris when a Dada salon opened at the Montaigne Gallery in 1922.  Dada has had a long and significant influence in art to the present time, and was the subject of a major exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 1989. Dada found literary expression in France–principally in the form of nonsense poems and random combinations of words–with the writings of Louis Aragon, Andre Breton, and Paul Eluard. They founded the revue Littérature in 1919;  it was published until 1924. These writers soon abandoned the Dada movement, however, and turned to Surrealism.

 R. Mutt Was Here 1917

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Dada Lives!
Dada: Response To The Horrors Of War

Writers Strike (Take Note)

For anybody that is not concerned about the possibility of another writers guild strike, please be reminded:

  • The last writers strike caused all that “reality TV” programming which to this day will not go away even though it is fading somewhat.
  • Another strike by the writers guild will cause another 4 years or so of this unimaginative television genre.

We all need to hope that the strike is called off so the writers can get back to work writing all that wonderful television that we have become accustomed to watching. Even so, it beats “reality TV”.

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Rest In Peace Robert Goulet

Robert Goulet, the baritone voice whose Broadway debut in Camelot launched an award-winning stage and recording career, died Tuesday in Los Angeles. He was 73. Mr. Goulet, who had a rare type of pulmonary fibrosis, had been waiting for a lung transplant at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

That is one groovy moustache…

Attention Visitors

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OnLine Elvis Shrine


Just installed at is the Official OnLine Elvis Shrine.

The candles will always burn brightly at the Shrine and as a faithful fan you can always be assured of that. The GPS coordinates are inscribed upon the Shrine — just tell your car and be taken directly to the Shrine! Just think of Elvis as your guide and chauffeur (with really cool hair).

Thank you! Thank you very much!

Thanks to those of you who contributed to and visited the Shrine this year.
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Rest In Peace Porter Wagoner

Porter Wagoner, a Grand Ole Opry institution and member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, died this past Sunday (October 28, 2007) at 8:25 in the evening at Alive Hospice in Nashville, Tennessee.

  • Birth name: Porter Wayne Wagoner
  • Also known as : Mr. Grand Ole Opry
  • Born: August 12, 1927
  • Died: October 28, 2007 (aged 80)
  • Instrument: Acoustic Guitar
  • Years active    1951–2007
  • Wikipedia: Porter Wagoner

  • He wore some mighty sharp suits…….

    Artist, Designer & Photographer