Simple life instructions
Simple Life Instructions: D@d@atTheR@dius is offered in the spirit of DADA, the art movement born in Zurich a century ago in defiance of common decency—had any been able to be found in the mustard gas-afflicted trenches surrounding neutral Switzerland in the middle of the First World War. Any similarity between that demagogue-embracing, empire-crumbling, violence-inured year and 2016 is purely codependent.
Absurdity was the antidote in 1916: absurdity, mischief, randomness and iconoclasm were the bywords for the artists who operated from a Zurich bar as The Cabaret Voltaire. Swiftly evicted, Dada spread to arts capitals of Europe and the US through the work of Marcel Duchamp, Max Ernst, Man Ray and many other visual, performing and literary artists. dAda spawned Surrealism, performance art, happenings and reality showsand dominates our current political landscape.
2016: absurdity is the norm, endless worldwide war continues, our planet is endangered and the technology we created has turned against us. Everyday decisions like whether to ask for a glass of water with dinner, go solar or burn tires, how to carry groceries home from the market, devise the 35th unique online password using letters, symbols and numbers since the last one suddenly doesn’t work any longer, save the wolves, protect the tree toad or respond to the message that Our Privacy Policies Have Changed are increasingly fraught with consequence. In the face of this: Simple Life Instructions—a kindness, really.
The artists in this exhibition share an absurdist approach that answers the curator’s Question to Self: If Dada were born today, here, what would it look like? Representing diverse media, several generations and four countries, we have enjoyed working together to create this show. Re-use of non-traditional art materials is a value shared by all. Our devotion to salvage leads me to thank the Santa Cruz Resource Recovery Facility for allowing us to use theire-waste (in increasingly plentiful supply), the San Francisco Recology Artist-in-Residence Program for lending us works from their curated collection, and our local Habitat for Humanity ReStore for their work in re-using materials.
EXHIBITORS: Jesus Aguilar/ Keith Daly/ Mark Faigenbaum / Simona Mihaela Fitcal/ TOny May / Victoria May / Robbie Schoen / Bruce Suba
CURATED by Maureen Davidson. Partially funded by Arts Council Santa Cruz County.