Dada World Fair at SFAI
Sunday, Nov 06, 2016, 3:00PM - 6:00PM
Lecture Hall
800 Chestnut Street

In November 2016, City Lights Booksellers and Publishers in conjunction with SFAI celebrate the 100th anniversary of the emergence of Dada. As an artistic and literary movement, Dada stood out for its attacks on bourgeois sensibilities, its challenge to the hierarchies of gallery and museum culture, and its questioning of the purpose of art and the role of the artist in society.

For two weeks, the Dada World Fair explores the myriad dimensions of an art movement that left an indelible influence on the world of art, pop culture, and beyond. Events will take place all around San Francisco. See all >>

Destruction Was Our Beatrice: Dada and the Unmasking of the 20th Century

Lecture Sessions and roundtable discussions by: Marius Hentea, Maria Makela, Marjorie Perloff, Jed Rasula, and Adrian Sudhalter. Opening Statement by Peter Maravelis, City Lights Booksellers. Preface by Andrei Codrescu and with introductions by Adrian Notz.

Session One: Poisonous Gifts: Episodes and Legends of Dada | 2:15pm
Focusing on several famous episodes from the different environments in which Dada prospered (Zurich, Berlin, New York, Hannover, Paris), Jed Rasula will discuss the role played by faulty information, innuendo, and outright invention in the propagation of Dada's reputation.

Session Two: The Three Vices of Tristan Tzara | 2:45pm
Exploring the factors that drove Tzara's creative fire: Poetry, Money, and Sex! Featuring Marius Hentea.

Session Three: Dada's Women: Zurich, Berlin, Paris, and New York | 3:20pm
This talk will explore the role of women in the international Dada movement, both as makers and objects of representation by the male artists with whom they were frequently allied. Featuring Maria Makela.

Session Four: Dada and the Roots of Ethnopoetics | 4pm
With an emphasis on Dada poets like Ball and Tzara, as well as Surrealist successors like Breton and Artaud, Jerome Rothenberg explores and perform what can only be described as a Dada ethnopoetics. Featuring Jerome Rothenberg.

Session Five: Lighting the Censor’s Stove: Censorship, Border Controls, and Dada Encryption | 5pm
This talk considers the degree to which the infrastructure for controlling European civilian populations around the First World War rendered defiant international communication among members of the avant-garde urgent, while necessitating circumventions and double-talk in their letters, which may also have also permeated the linguistic and visual form of their work. Featuring Adrian Sudhalter.

Session Six: Dada and the Unmasking of the 20th Century: A Roundtable Discussion | 5:45pm
An exploration of the politics of Dada. With Jed Rasula, Marius Hentea, Adrian Notz, Adrian Sudhalter.



Cine-Dada presents a sampler of Dada output on film including the works of Marcel Duchamp, Viking Eggeling, Hans Richter, Man Ray, and others. Opening statement by Peter Maravelis of City Lights Booksellers and Jale Yoldas of the Goethe Institut. The event is co-presented by City Lights Booksellers and The Goethe Institut SF.

Deutschland Dada (1969, 61min)
Rhythmus 21 (1921-24), Hans Richter, b/w / silent / 3 min.30
Symphonie Diagonale (1921-24), Viking Eggeling, b/w /  silent / 7 min.
Le Retour a La Raison (1923), Man Ray, b/w / silent / 2 min.
Entr'acte (1924), René Clair und Francis Picabia, b/w  / w sound / 20 min.
Ballet Mécanique (1924), Fernand Léger und Bubley Murphy, color / w sound / 14 min
Filmstudie (1926), Hans Richter, b/w / w sound / 3 min.30
Emak Bakia (1926), Man Ray, b/w / w sound / 17 min.
Vomittagsspuk (1927), Hans Richter, b/w / w sound / 6 min.