Dada number four, The Idea of All Naps

 “Le Bruit noise with imitative effects, was introduced into art ( in this connection we can hardly speak of individual arts, music, or literature) by Marinetti, who used a chorus of typewriters, kettledrums, rattles and pot-covers to suggest the ” awakening of the capital”; at first it was intended as nothing more than a rather violent reminder of the colorfulness of life. In contrast to the cubists or for that matter the German Expressionists, the futurists regarded themselves as pure activists. While all “abstract artists” maintained the position that a table is not the wood and nails it is made of but the idea of all tables, and forgot that a table could be used to put things on, the futurists wanted to immerse themselves in the “angularity” of things- for them the table signified a utensil for living, and so did everything else.” {Excerpt from Richard Hueslsenbeck: En Avant Dada: A History of Dadaism (1920)}  

The idea of all tables. Idea of all paintings, all art, all cups, of a cup of coffee. Try to imagine every cup of coffee being drank right now at this moment all over the world,  the different kinds of mugs, types of coffee, settings, different  people drinking that cup of coffee, how enjoyable the sips are, think of that moment, now this one, as a collective moment happening to many people at one time all over the world. I take a sip of my water, enjoying my moment,  2:04 PM, Tuesday afternoon. Jack and Fiona sleeping, house quiet. Having a collective moment with all the other moms whose babies are napping right now. The idea of all naps being had right now all over the world. What a wonderful thought, soft relaxed faces, closed eyes, serenity.

I’ve begun reading “The DADA Painters and Poets” An Anthology, Edited by Robert Motherwell. It’s an excellent book. I’m enjoying it, although it’s dense. Lots of ideas, stories, varied; a collection. A  collective. A community. A lot of what the DaDa’s talked about was group participation or groups gathering, being united. For example this is #1 under DaDa demands by Hauelsenbeck and Raul Hausemann, “The international revolutionary union of all creative intellectual men and women on the basis of radical communism.” {Pg. 41 Dada Painters and Poets.}

A lot of what the Dadas did and talked about was very political,  banging pots and pans to “awaken the capital”. They were participating in the larger world conversation, anti- war, anti- fascism.  The question from “Dada Here and Now” Can art successfully challenge a fixed mindset?” Maybe. Participation, by speaking out, voting, standing on the corner with signs, and banging pots and pans, may not change the extreme people, but it might inspire others to take action. The problem with visual art is to change mindsets means people need to see the art. Yes, the answer is yes, but the art needs to be shown, lots of people need to be able to see the art. Not just other artists. And the only way to answer all of the questions posed by “Dada Here and Now” is for the public to see the art. A lot of what Dada artists talked about was this, access to art.  Hugo Ball and Emmy Hennings opened the Cabaret Voltaire which was a nightclub in Zurich, Switzerland. It opened in 1916 for “Artistic and political purposes.” It was a place for artists and performers to get together, show art, do performances, and talk politics. We need that now, and if there were such places, the general population would be more familiar with art, more artists would connect, more change would be talked about. So it can’t just be art alone that inspires change, it’s the discussion as well.

It is about the discussion, the process, the experience, not the outcome. There may be no solution or answers to any questions. “The Dadaist, as the psychological Manhas brought back his gaze from the distance, and considers it important to have shoes that fit and a suit without holes in it. The Dadaist is an atheist by instinct. He is no longer a metaphysician in the sense of finding a rule for the conduct of life in any theoretical principles, for him there is no longer a “thou Shalt”; For him the cigarette butt and the umbrella are as exalted and as timeless as the “thing in itself.” {Pg.42 Dada Painters and Poets.}  There is no obligation for  artists to do anything, the present moment is the most important thing. It’s the only way to stay in a creative state, the moment I start worrying about my closet, I need to clean my closet, I am no longer effective in the studio. Or if I worry, I need to be painting, I am no longer effective in cleaning my closet.


Now all I want to do is paint for my remaining thirty minutes of nap time. But I don’t know if I really have time. What would the dada’s say? What would a dada do? Get back to the present.

It’s February 2nd, 2016. It’s cold today, with moments of sunshine. It was bright and I thought of all the beautiful wild flowers that will bloom. The ground is damp and mossy from all the extra rain from El Nino. The deciduous tree branches still bare. Jack and Fiona had there two year doctor visit today, I made it a special day, starting at the indoor mall playground, they were so good, they went crazy for the rides, but I only had a dollar, enough for one ride. They still had fun jumping into all of the rides. I bought them each a stuffed animal, Jack a Panda and Fiona a seal, the kind with those big giant eyes. Jack and Fiona were super excited to see the doctor, but Jack still wouldn’t let her check his ears, mouth, or eyes. He cried, I’m laughing, a big tough boy like he is, Fiona welcomed the doctors examination, She does have an advantage, she’s been going to doctors getting her ears examined on a regular basis since she was three months old. Alan got to leave work early and met us at the doctor. After, we went for Indian , Jack and Fiona’s favorite kind of food. They sat in their boosters and ate basmati rice, spinach, naan bread, and mango lassies.  Alan and I were able to eat our entire meal without stressing. It was pretty cool.  I am yearning to be creative right now, the babies will be waking up soon and I need to get ready for them! I am collectively getting ready for the evening housewife shuffle with all the other housewives out there at this moment. It’s not just about my moment, it’s about the idea of the moment, the moment of getting dinner ready, getting the children ready for bed. A moment that will never happen again, not the same way.


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Thoughts on Motherhood Through the Eyes of an Artist