Friday, February 03, 2006

International Dada Month

Synchronicity! I'm working on putting together a Dada Film Program at Enoch Pratt Library and in the course of my research I came across a blog called Sore Eyes (whose author identifies himself as "John Robinson, a 42 year-old geek living in North Shields, Tyne & Wear in the United Kingdom") informing me that tomorrow, February 4, is International Dadaist Month. And so is August and September and October - in fact, in a Dadaist twist of (il)logic, there appears to be a baker's dozen plus one International Dadaist Months! Here's the Sore Eyes post:

Dada Month
Just before Xmas, Mayor Boog Highberger of Lawrence, Kansas announced plans to celebrate International Dadaism Month:

In Dada spirit, Highberger did not select a specific month to celebrate Dada. Instead he’s proclaiming International Dada month as Feb. 4, April 1, March 28, July 15, Aug. 2, Aug. 7, Aug. 16, Aug. 26, Sept. 18, Sept. 22, Oct. 1, Oct. 17 and Oct. 26. Highberger selected the dates by rolling dice and pulling numbers from a hat.

What amazes me about this Dada-spirited news is that it comes from that bastion of red state unhipness, Kansas! Who knew? I also like that the mayor's name is Boog (short for Booger?). I mean, the only other Boog I know is the former Oriole slugger John "Boog" Powell, who is now best known for his open-pit barbecue sandwiches at "Oriole Park at Camden Yards." But what do I know? After all, Lawrence, KS was the headquarters of educational film company Centron Films (who can forget such exciting Centron classics as Sewing Simple Seams or Exchanging Greetings and Introductions?), whose greatest auteur was no doubt Herk Harvey, director of the low-budget horror classic Carnival of Souls - which was filmed in Lawrence!

In a related story, tomorrow also marks the first annual Toilet Bowl competition at Baltimore's Ravens Stadium, in which Baltimore's decidely non-Dadaist communities of Dundalk and Essex will vie for ownership of our Waste Water Treatment Plant (the Middle River "Egg") in an event highlighted by a pre-game Porcelain Parade in which prizes are awarded to the most festively decorated toilet bowls. (This event is sure to give new meaning to the term "tailgating"!)

I mention this only because of the toilet's revered stature in the Dadaist community. After all, it was 89 years ago that Marcel Duchamp presented his first Dada work of art, a urinal called "Fountain" (pictured at right).

Anyway, here's sending a shout out to all you latter-day Dadaists - get out there and celebrate, early and often!

Related Links:
98 Rock's 1st Annual Toilet Bowl
Dadart's Dada Links


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