Nihilism Of Dada And Leonard Aldea And Phillip Prager

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Dadaism is an art movement that is met with many different points of view. Some art historians look at it with contempt, others generalize it as a movement solely about nihilism and a post-war reaction. It is possible that art historians by and large have missed the whole point of the Dada movement, and do not take it as a valid art movement. Leonard Aldea and Phillip Prager both believe that Dada artists are largely misunderstood and that art historians have done an injustice in their interpretations of the movement.
Both authors have their own ideas of what Dadaism was actually about, both unique to what historians have previously written on the movement. Aldea, in “The Implicit Apophaticism of Dada Zurich: A Spiritual Quest By Means of
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The author then gives the example of Duchamp, referring to an interview with him. Art was not expressive for Duchamp, but rather for entertainment, completely for play. Dada, to Prager, is not a joke, as that would take away the meaning from the movement, but rather it was a way of life. Dada refused to pigeonhole art and life into two separate categories. The movement helps express what Prager calls the autotelic-self, in which an individual 's purpose comes from within, not from external factors such as social constructs. Prager asserts that positive actions and emotions build on each other, creating an upward cycle of improved mental and emotional health. Positive emotion allow one to gather a large variety of resources to deal with unideal situations, whereas negative emotions do not. Prager points out, in the aftermath of World War II, where expressionism turned inward, Dada turned …show more content…
The use of chance is nihilistic in that it removes any logic or ordered system, but he also sees it as a positive force. The rearrangement and destruction of their pieces were implemented to keep the subject pure of any possible human contamination, which Aldea would argue is not an expression of nihilism. He relates the use of chance to God as it is beyond earthly knowledge and logic.
Aldea’s final point was Dada’s need to decontextualize and stay away from any personal attachments to work, to avoid artistic death. Art needed to be decontextualized, along with man. There were many modes of decontextualization used, hiding the Dadaists from any certain time or place. This removal of self would allow for man’s spiritual freedom to be free of any intellectual context. The emphasis in Dadaism and other avant-garde movements is not in the final product, but in the process of the work, according to

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