Monday, October 15, 2018

Colberg on Dada

Jörg has another book review up, a book I'm not much interested in.

What I find interesting is his labored discussion leading up to the discussion of the book. On the one hand, good for him attempting to place the book in some sort of Art-Historical context.

On the other hand, if you watch what his hands are doing closely you will see that he starts out bringing up Dada, describing it very quickly (citing the same link to The Tate's 231 word description of the term no less than three times but providing no other references. Colberg likes the Tate's web page, because it gives him access to the word "satirical" which he uses to caulk up the seams in his argument. Other obvious references are less generous. The next step is to dismiss what the practitioners of Dada said it meant, and substitute his own interpretation based on a British TV Comedy Show. Then he lumps the book he's discussing into this exciting new definition.

I was tempted to give him a pass on this, because whatever, until it occurred to me that there's a perfectly serviceable category that does exactly what he wants without having to drag in sitcoms.

If he flipped a few pages further into his copy of Art History for Dummies he might well have stumbled across surrealism, which appears to be more or less precisely what he is talking about.

How well the book itself fits under either label I am not prepared to judge.

My point is that Colberg's new-and-improved Dada appears to more closely resemble surrealism.

1 comment:

  1. So many of the projects Colberg champions on his blog are nearly devoid of photographic values and interest, but instead serve as fodder for a kind of virtue-signalling. Yes, it's a thing.

    Cristina de Middel is an interesting visual artist judging by her website; this is no photobook.

    I can see a Dada pedigree in her photomontages, perhaps lacking the subtlety and wit of Hanna Hoch. Anyway, here's my take on what Dada was about:

    In his Twitter feed, Colberg proffers many valid and *concise* insights on U.S. & European politics, the art world, and the rarefied academic milieu he aspires to.

    Trying to project this mentality onto the realm of art publishing reviews has got his wires crossed.

    Conscientious != sanctimonious.