Jews and Dada

  • 20 January 2014
    Mini-course on Jews in European Avant-Garde
    • 20 January 2014, 19:00

    There is a vast Jewish presence among the artists of the avant-garde and at the same time these artists detached themselves from their original Jewish origins. Some emigrated from countries in which they were born and changed their names to universal ones.

    In the lecture on the Jewish presence within Dada Prof. Haim Finkelstein will discuss some aspects of Tristan Tzara’s, dadaist universal manifesto from a particularistic Jewish perspective in spite of Tzara’s wish to conceal that dimension while emphasizing his universality. Tzara/Shmuel Rosenstock’s identity quest will be associated with his emigration from Romania to Zurich and then Paris. Likewise, the works of the German-born artist Hans Richter, who found a place of refuge in the U.S.A., will also be discussed, focusing on his hidden Jewish identity and its reflection in his paintings, films and overall dadistic universal persona. Richter’s image of the blue man -- the blue color signifying “the other”-- as well as the question on whose head will the floating hat -- symbolizing identity -- finally settle in Richter’s “Ghosts at Breakfest (1928), will be addressed in the lecture.

    As a conclusion the discussion will revolve on the question of “what is there in Dada that lends itself to the artists discussed: Man Ray, Tristan Tzara, and Hans Richter.