Dada – An Art Movement of the Early 20th Century

An art movement coming from the avant-garde European art scene in the early ’20s, Dadaism was developed as a reaction to WWI, and during this time the gap between the wealthy and the poor in the word was becoming more and more obvious. The Dada movement was made up of artists who rejected the logic, reason, and looks of the modern capitalist society, instead expressing nonsense, irrationality, and anti-bourgeois (anti-wealthy and powerful) protest in their works. 

At home, you are going to parody (reference in a funny way) something that you think is too stuffy or is taken too seriously. It could be a song, a dance, food, anything you can think of. The beauty of Dada is that it can be expressed in any way you can imagine. 

Learn new vocabulary:Parody, Unconventional, Performance Art

Tool Kit:Notebook paper for ideas and pencils or crayons.


Step 1: Look online for different examples of work from Dada Artists. Many of these artists also fall into the abstract field so feel free to search that area as well.

Step 2: What medium (kind of object or performance) do they use to show their work? What is the intended message behind the artwork? What is the process they go through before they create their work? Find out how these artists come up with such imaginative works.

Step 3: Using a sheet of lined paper, write out some things you think are too stuffy or taken too seriously. What makes the items or things like this? Is it the audience? The subject? After you figure this out, create your own Dada art that parodies the subject you find too boring.  This could be through a joke, a video, food you make, whatever you can think of. The beauty of Dada is that it can be expressed in any way you can imagine.

Group Activity: Show off your abstract work to your friends and family. What do they think of the different and strange ways of showing your message? What topics do they think would be a good fit for Dada?

Extend Your Journey:Consider other topics that might be a good fit for Dada. Do you think Dada as art takes itself too seriously? Parody that! The subject matter is yours to decide.

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