Dadaism is, at its' core, a movement in the art scene attempting to analyze what IS art. Dadaism's central tenets are that art is art because we perceive it to be art, and that therefore by changing our definition of what is art, we can change what art is. This was in oppoisition to many other perceptions of art as a medium, in that other movements believed art to be seperate from our existence, that art had an existence beyond our own.
Dadaism arose sometime shortly before World War 1, but gained in strength and momentum culturally after the end of World War 1, when people began responding to the horrors and atrocities of the war. Dadaism's perspectives on mankind's animalistic tendencies and use of juxtaposed shock imagery appealed to people attempting to deal with the emotional and psychological stress of a post-world-war world.
Dadaism describes itself as 'anti-art', challenging notions of the sanctity of certain art forms. This deconstruction of what it means to be 'art' created a number of anarchic repurposed art installations, such as Marcel Duchamp's L.H.O.O.Q., which was a copy of the Mona Lisa with a moustache and chin-beard pencilled on. The painting seemed to represent the idea "What makes this art? What makes this not art?" and seemed to attack the notion that art exists independently as a sort of ethereal quality.
Dadaism's French and German roots lent itself to being particularly anti-war, in the wake of WW1, and particularly anti-beurgois, with themes of our society's trappings making us into monsters or debilitating our humanity. The movement was from the beginning assosciated with anarchist movements, and paralleled well with the anarchist movement's beliefs about the nature and structure of society- namely that our attempts at social order are a joke, and that people are inherently animals.
One particularly peculiar aspect of Dadaist art is its' use of nonaesthetic imagery- most art forms attempt to create a sense...
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