"If modern art has taught us anything, it is that anything can be considered
art. Picasso’s and Braque’s curious peeling newspaper collages of the 1910s
spring to mind as the opening act for the ‘Modern Art’ movement. It was at this
point in time, in the early 20th century where ‘real’ art – the academic 19th
century kind, with all its airs and graces and establishment-imposed ‘rules’ –
and this new lighter, less formal and somewhat random approach, parted ways.
Modern Art as we perceive it was arguably launched by the quirky and
wonderfully chaotic Dada movement that took root in central Europe around 1910
and flowered in New York in the early 1920s, causing a somewhat profound
ruffling of the feathers of the status quo. And whilst we now see Dada as
revolutionary, it was uncanny to discover that Dada had a look-a-like
predecessor – not a direct ancestor, mind you, more like a forgotten uncle.
‘Les Incohérents’ was a short-lived French art movement that originated from
Montmartre in Paris in the 1880s. Unconcerned with the intellectual, political
or spiritual facets of the arts (which Dada would address a mere 20 years
later), they did, however, attempt to question through satire and ridicule,
what exactly ‘art’ was, who it was intended for and why on earth it had to be
so darn square.
Paris in the 1880s was the capital of a flourishing world empire, serious and
secure. Perhaps it could afford some cultural introspection and self-analysis,
if only for its own entertainment? If beauty is in the eye of the beholder,
then the Incoherents movement had a point: why restrict the arts, visual, music
or dance world to the same old tedious and traditional offerings? Why not open
it up to fun, new rules and new media?"
Via Esther Schindler.
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*** Xanni ***
Chief Scientist, Xanadu
Partner, Glass Wings
Manager, Serious Cybernetics