New York and European Dada art journals, 1916–1926: International venues of exchange
Dada art journals constitute a central but neglected part of the Dadaists' creative expression. Artists have recognized the journal medium as a means of promoting their ideas since the middle of the nineteenth century, but the Dadaists were the first to engage it as a performative venue. They did so first by manipulating the conventions of their chosen medium, making their journals primary sites of activity and interaction, and second by using the journals to enact an international, multi-centered network of exchange, thus engendering the Dada movement's unique diversity. Examining journals produced in New York in dialogue with those from European cities, this dissertation describes their significant contributions to American art and to the Dada movement as a whole. The Dadaists recognized the promise of the journal medium as an alternative site for exchanging inventive and subversive ideas and as an artistic medium challenging fundamental assumptions of originality, media, and the framing of the history of art. They manipulated the conventions of display in their journals, and this experimentation directly influenced their exhibitions. Detailing each particular derivation of the Dada movement and describing its simultaneous development in many cities, the journals reflect the international network of exchange among its disparate centers and offer a way to examine the movement as a whole. These provocative publications offer a revised understanding of Dada collages, paintings, and drawings by calling attention to the venues in which they were first displayed. This dissertation expands the scope of Dada beyond Zurich, New York, Paris, and Berlin by integrating cities not usually associated with Dada, including Zagreb, Rome, and Bucharest. It highlights writers such as Tristan Tzara and Richard Huelsenbeck, and American artists, including Clara Tice, Louis Eilshemius, and Agnes Ernst Meyer, who are typically overlooked in accounts focusing on Dada paintings and sculptures. Anchored in extensive archival research and close visual analysis, it contributes to the lively discourse currently surrounding Dada and calls attention to the importance of the journal medium throughout the history of art.
0708: Mass media