Boundaries

© El, Urban Weave

If by art we mean not only painting, sculpture, photography, poetry, beauty and ugliness, but a new bond between all these elements, then the act of creation becomes freer and is compelled to seek an originality in its interactions, sometimes evolving new approaches and other times giving significance to ideas in the context of the location where the work is exhibited, how it was engendered and what chain of reasoning it gives rise to. Thus, we may realize how important it is to discover a broad rationale by which appreciate the evolution and conduct of every artistic creation.

For Dadaists, chance often solved insoluble problems and opened new perspectives: if one ‘listened’ to the chance, it might give answers to unformed questions taking shape in one’s mind and coordinate thoughts which might otherwise remain chaotic. To make myself clearer, I realize now –oh, Fate, oh Chance!- that the Italian word ‘caso’(=chance) is the anagram of ‘caos’ (=chaos), and therefore I can assert in agreement with Dada that chance gives order to chaos and vice versa.

Vogue beyond the Big Glass by Marcel Duchamp

For example, Duchamp found in the accidental crack in his ‘Big Glass’ the proper conclusion to the  creative process made visible by the passage of time which had deposited a layer of dust on its surface. As a result of this, another masterpiece was born – the famous Big Glass photograph “Dust-breeding” by Man Ray.

Man Ray, Elevage de Pussiere

Another example is Man Ray’s chance discovery of a way to illustrate his peculiar ideas about contemporary times as a direct result of technical errors, an accident which gave birth to the well-known processes of rayographs and air-graphic painting- in reality, special kinds of shadow, the first being shadows cast by objects caught in a ray of light and the latter effect obtained by projecting a fine dusty colour in place of light.

© El, Self Rayograph

Both processes were discovered accidentally; they were invention awaiting notice and adoption. Moreover, because both they were accompanied by explanatory titles (although these had little connection with the work), they emphasise how the Dadaistic method attempted to provide an inner logic and procedural rigour to its masterpieces (it is not by chance that Arturo Schwarz entitled his Man Ray monograph “Man Ray. The Rigour of  Imagination”).

The apparent lighting of the dark mystery kept inside the Dadaistic objects and behaviours dwells in their nomination, increasing the enigma but also stigmatizing the mental process which “informs” the artwork.

Old and new artistic theories, familiar and alien conceptions of creating art, distinctions of place and time have to be set aside. This nomadic approach is typical of contemporary artistic-communicative dimensions; if one observe attentively, it embraces all the conceptual peculiarities of our best-known virtual network, the Internet, which, being a ‘net’, has neither ‘top’ nor ‘bottom’ and may be considered as the most democratic system of establishing human intercommunication.

A source of unlimited information, this approach provides revealing answers to issues affecting, and closely connected with the original propositions of Dadaism proposed instances, offering a sense of the constantly changing forms of all images and a means of eliminating the hierarchy separating ‘The Fine Arts’ and other modes of artistic expression and, above all, divisions within the social structure.

These concepts extend like a universal network reaching impartially into the subconscious, interstices of minds world-wide.

The “rhizomatic” course of the cultural thought, of the language and the art, makes today possible similar behaviour to exist in different places.

De Saussure says: “Men are spoken by speech”, and so maybe artists are created by art, because the artistic sign is a cultural result containing many past and present conceptual images, finally bearing a message which is able to cross time and space. And because of its nature of trace, an artwork may have many particular and different meanings, depending on the period and the place it goes through.

“The original painting surrounded the man’s shadow cast by the sun on the walls” (Leonardo da Vinci), and so doing make themselves humble and silent bearers of many realities that anticipate and go trough the times, as lightened as possible of specific meanings.

Marcel Duchamp, Duchamp Dechiravit



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