In 2010 I moved to Zurich to research dada. I was there for four years researching and performing under the expanded acronym “The THERE-THERE School of English DADA” whose initial aim was to unite Britain and Dada and work out why they were not co-joined immediately after WW1. There is a clear indication that dada writings and publications where known to the Brits so it was an active non-acceptance on both parts: Britain rejected dada just as dada had no interest in Britain, till the PUNK movement in the 1960s.
29.04.11: “The ROYAL ACT” at The Cabaret Voltaire
“Im not a massive ANGLOPHILE and I came to Switzerland to speak German (which I realise liebe Ladies and lieber Gentlemen is very generously put.) I now know that this was a mistake as people here are very happy to speak perfect English or super Swiss German.
After some research in the heart of dada arts, I realised that England is never mentioned in books even the name // the origin of the name and even its translated explanations have not once been alluded to in English.
DADA translated in: FRENCH- Rocking Horse GERMAN- Father RUMANIAN- Yes Yes ENGLISH – There There
AND that’s why the pacifying “THERE THERE” School of English DADA started.
England and dada in my mind being interchangeable. Dada holds misunderstanding at its core, as I believe the English language does.”
Changing love of dada (art education as new dada)
I began by investigating through performance, whether it was the perversity of: English culture, community (age-old acceptance of eccentrics), use of language games and dialects, or individual sense of humour that prevented this radical arts movement being accepted on British shores. Then slowly the love of dada evolved, partially by studying “ARTS EDUCATION and CURATION” in German into a more challenging look at misunderstanding. Having always enjoyed nonsense this helped to awaken the idea of misunderstanding as a tool for art interpretation and after scratching around in arts education theory (which is just as conflicted) art education as a new dada.
9th May: Official Celebrations at Cabaret Voltaire – DADA DEAD PANEL DISCUSSION – UK-Z
100 years on / Unearthed by crisis / Shaken out of this last century our panel of experts discusses the rediscovered origins of British Dada and its new directions in light of revealing Zurich based research which included Swiss cheese hole photography, airport destination bingo, and yellow stripe study. Mediating the origins of British dada with Jackie Haynes and James Mansfield (live) alongside Waldo Cockfarm (phone), Adrian Notz (dada100 curator) and St.Pauli (intimate chat about who gets to participate for the centenary and why) and a ball (Hugo with a 3m diameter filled with balloons.)
X James Mansfield of The Centre for Non-Objective Research. Founded in 2016, the Centre is primarily concerned with investigations into place and space, from the 20th Century to small islands. It will be conducting a detailed piece of research into the cultural geography of Zurich, from its historic residents to contemporary infrastructure.
X Jackie Haynes of The Notional Roaming Dada Museum. The Museum has temporarily rolled into a corner due to a new Kurt Schwitters-related art practice-based research appointment.
X A vision from the Embodiment Cloakroom. Founded on Osteopathy, based in art history – working towards the NOW.
X Waldo Cockfarm (it’s a long story…), Global Branding Xpert from BBC International
“Somewhere between modernism and stand-up comedy.” (anonymous)
“At first I was reserved but in the end I really liked your performance. I suppose the trick is to be COMPLETELY serious about complete nonsense. 😐 Which I know isn’t easy.” (anonymous until approved otherwise)
January – February 2016: DADA PUNKT and DROP INN, An exhibition and open platform in London from which to contemplate the centenary of dada Studio One Gallery, Collective Studios, Wandsworth. Using art, anti-art, arts education, performance, floristry and other rogue business ideas to consider dada scenes 1916 – 2016, the 100 year gap and connect with the official celebrations in Zurich. The title DADA PUNKT or dada point refers to these connections in both space and time (and the vastness beyond them) whilst creating a physical place in which to assemble. DADA package holidays offered from the DADA TRAVEL BURO Swiss Tourisme 2016, with hot curatorial extras including avoiding the curators of Manifesta, non-sharp gipfeli and pre-packed costumes for the Kunsthaus DADA costume ball.
5th February: Periscoping the official dada100 celebrations at Cabaret Voltaire worldwide to: DADA Punkt, Wandsworth; DADA in Berlin, Berlin; Islington Mill, Manchester; Eddie the Eagle Gallery, Amsterdam.
LINE UP** FRIDAY 29th
free ranging *
*Dr James Lattin will inaugurate the Centre for Non-Objective Research through the medium of artistic postcards
19.30 – 19.45 Introduction by The THERE-THERE School of English DADA
19.45 – 20.30 St. Pauli / DADAamt, Zürich
20.45 – 21.00 Marlon Brando Island
21.15 – 21.30 It’s ART BABY – Art Education Sitcom reading
21.40 – 22.00 Sarah Boulton
Previous LINE UP** FRIDAY 22nd
18.00 onwards – Embodiment Cloakroom & SUNSHINE TOUR EXIT Bar
(check in and save the date)
19.16 – 19.45 – Intro by The THERE-THERE School of English DADA
Poems by Mischa Foster Poole
20.00 – 20.40 – Music by Marlon Brando Island
& m o r e T.B.C
Additional artworks by: Sarah Boulton, St. Pauli Dorn, Sarah Tew
Track to matter to noise – Collective: Stefanie Knobel, Nina Bandi, Angela Wittwer, Vera Ryser, Emre Sarigöl and Sophie Vögele
February 2016: Centenary hat lantern exhibited and lit by St.Pauli as part of ‘DADA in BERLIN.’ A group dada exhibition and open stage organised to celebrate the centenary by Wolf Zettelman at ACUD Theatre, Berlin.
01.06.14 // “Testflight out of Time,” a re-enactment of past performances exploring my changing love of dada with the absorption of Zurich as my home, within an Exhibition dedicated to the same theme Dunkelholzli Studios, Zürich.
!! Few important bits (footnotes) Put feet on table
- “ I have learnt (from the stage) to what extent today’s literature is worked out as a problem at the desk and is made for the spectacles of the collector instead of the ears of living human beings.” H. BALL
- “In life and art both, as it seems to me, we are always trying to catch in our net of successive moments somtheing that is not successive.” C.J LEWIS
- “No, I said ‘It starts on you. Why I had a real job once, a job of work. But art got me and look at me now.” J.CARY
OBITUARY OF THE GHOUL and the PERMA INTRASPECTION
My interest is that dada for me now is contained within everything. what started off as a forced decision to make performance hoping that the medium could combine better with the forottten past than painting has now been lost itself. Although my problem lies in realising that 100 years have passed since dada. So with great relief I present what was irritating as something mildly amusing.
Where were we?
We were where we were
Hello you’re listening to BBC podcast from DUnkelholzli, periphery Zurich entitled “This is my last performance bar next weekend with Alice McCabe” (C. V hanging around neck)
We’re sorry, the content that you have selected cannot be played in this country (J. lumley – slightly up mouth on left)
(starts of mumming)
Turns to sort of fake chines english pastures green.
We’re sorrry, the content that you have selected cannnot be played in this country
(becomes increasingly aggressive)!!
14.02.13 // DADAbend 4 at Cabaret Voltaire organized by DADAmt = St.Pauli. lights and timed acts of six minutes controlled by the audience.
11.11.12 // “Official Handover Ceremony” Post Olympics donation of childhood toothbrush collection (all used) to Arts Collective U5 at Chaos Stage, Loch Squat.
06.05.12 // “Mohrenkopf/Lessinkopf” Free-range GAMESHOW, Perla Mode (as part of Fool for April) A critique of value within the art world with artists, curators and the ‘common arty’ as panelists.
!! Hi, Im Alice and this is my Co-host Charlie. (Hi Alice, Hi Charlie) We work together as part of the There-There School of English Dada. Tonight LIVE we will be presenting for your art delectation
GOODLOOKING but not vacuous
looking good as a vacuum
our special show Mohrenkopf/Less in KOPF
SO clear your heads of influence
In our first selection round we will be choosing our panelists asking, “ART THOUGH for REAL?” with ‘Selection standard lines’
– I CHOOSE YOU
– YOU’RE HIRED
– JOIN MY TEAM
<(Back on stage) move team into positions whether you think they are a CURATOR / ARTIST or ARTY.> Names are on string to be hung round.
Red light in the background amoungst fool for April at Perla mode and magazine fair. This was certainly a breeding ground for artiness.!!
(Images from the internet.)
18.12.11 // “Pronunciation” LESSON ONE at the Chorgasse, as Tester lesson using dada and confusion as a tool for learning English “pronunciation” and dada. Half lecture, half performance.
!! on ONE
Pronunciation is never infallible as a rule, especially in English.To illustrate my point I will call out the register in a moment:
Now how you respond says a lot about you- in the class room, more than you may imagine, so lets test a range of responses, in England and give you something to select from:
PRESENT- here- yes-yep-yeah-y e a h – ugh –eugh –euh –uh
If we repeat this mantra from concentration, dedication backwards we can see the sounds become sharper and more clearly pronounced, and the word is fully enunciated, perhaps corresponding to the increased level of interest the pupil has in attending. So pick your level of interest / where you are sitting and if you would like to make another sound from your school boy days then please follow on.!!
(Image from the internet)
1.11.11 // Wedding “La Fontaine” at the Cabaret Voltaire Wedding of Dionysus and Apollo, a girl who is straight and a man who is gay: a ceremony of true love and celibacy.
!! We are gathered here today to celebrate the coming together of Nina and Homayun, Whose Stadtamt ceremony, has tied, and if the Gods love shall fail, legal bonds shall bind. Now, with the stadtstate as witness, we now bind you in the eyes of Ancient Greece and modern Switzerland.and ask all importantly.. DO you dada take these two to be yours truly for forever for ever ever,.
AMEN. ALL MEN please sit.
Just as procreation depends on the duality of the sexes, involving perpetual strife with only periodically intervening reconciliation so art is bound in its function within Apollonian and Dionysian duality.
And these two lovers, forever bound by celibacy and their tighter union because of it, shall be scraping heaven separately POP POP
Through this coupling of equal parts let us witness the birth of tragedy.
Och frage dich
A little of tragedy knows but the ripest soul
Opening Prayer O E I AYE (JUST VOWELS ARE READ/SUNG)
a e ,
you have made the bond of marriage
a holy mystery
ou a e a e e o o a ia e a o e !!
27.09.11//“DADabend 1” at Cabaret Voltaire Celebration for the renewed funding of Cabaret Voltaire. St Pauili of dadamt (www.dadamt.ch and www.dadainvest.ch) devised a game in which the audeinec roll a dice to select a performer and control the lights and sounds, therefore having potential to cut you off.
!! MISTY MORNING OF PFINGSTWEIDEN
Waking up several times in the same mood
Started the day as though on other days
living in the different time zones
Snooze pause o’clocks
for the small tasks that were not allowed to be held together
and it was a calculated fraction
teethcleaning, salad chopping and washing
on leaving the house
the day expanded and grey
of a public holiday
people out in this nonsense weather with half smiles
while all they really wanted to do was go to Migros.!!
27.05.11// Third Bosphoros before concert by Emre Sarigol, Istanbul Blowing ink around a gallery/bar to create a third cheaper Bosphoros for Istanbul, parallel to the Bosphoros and Erdogan’s proposed ‘2nd Bosphoros’ and 3rd Bosphoros bridge. And because the word Bosphoros is so brilliant.
Performer unknown –
14.05.11// ENGLISH DADA BREAKFAST “Englischer Morgen mit Dada gepfeffert” at Station21 Art Platform Come fry it up and aid in vital dada research: Why dada never made it to England?
!! Are these DADA EVENTS or simply ENGLISH/SWISS traditions? Are these EVENTS TRUE or FALSE? Keep these questions running through your mind and enjoy the similarities of nonsense in accepted culture “our heritage” and extravagent periods of aggressive anti-art art movements.
– Chipped Bark wrestling in forest
– (Imaginary) duel with Tzara on the Rehalp in which Arp was lightly wounded in the left upper thigh.
THROWING THINGS IN THE LAKE
– The black order of the German eagle, the medal of bravery, Cross of merit 1 – 2 – 3 rd class. This evening I dumped all of them and my war orders too into Lake Zurich.” (H.Ball)
– 300 urns containing human remains of “suicide tourists.” Police were alerted, after staff of this NAMED euthanasia clinic were seen to be dumping 20 clients into the water.
Threw it in Zuri-See, 2012, Acrylic on canvas.
The “DADAISTS” attempt to entertain the HIGH & MIGHTY/LOW & HEARTY with HIGH TEA
– In May they started giving afternoon teas for school parties and upper-class visitors, whose polite gatherings were occasionally disrupted by ONE suspicious local workmen showing up. “Die Fuhrung durch die Galerie fur Arbeiter” were not incredibly successful. BALL discouraged by the inability of socialism and arts to meet had also forgotten about the Local socio- economic relations of the Bahnhofstrasse. It is perhaps unsurprising! Richard Huelsenbeck notes and I abbreviate: it was particularly appealing to the old ladies replacing (perhaps) their SeX lives with a little something maD!!!
Dadaists do Tea at Cafe Sprüngli, charcoal and pastel on A2 paper, 2011
Hugo Ball in Cafe Sprüngli, Charcoal on A2 paper, 2011
29.04.11// “The ROYAL ACT” at The Cabaret Voltaire
It is the Friday night (new bank holiday in U.K,) the unemployed stop working, Prince William marries a commoner, the Queen is “delighted,” the bride wears the ring of the Prince’s dead mother. DADA Siegt!
Launch of The “THERE-THERE School of English DADA.”
!! “WELCOME TO THE first THERE THERE SCHOOL OF ENGLISH DADA Wedding ROYAL VARIETY SHOW, we’re hoping there’ll be another- co timed with a religious ceremony e.g baptimisation (english low economic maximising of good publicity) we know whats happening tonight!”
“We have Prince William and Catherine to thank for tonight’s unspeakable depravities borderline carnage… Allow me to present their present moment and after SHOW party soooooooo secret…..“THE ROYAL ACT. Many of you are here perhaps by a series of serious misjudgements sent by the integrations erforderungs amt haupt buro kreis hof. Let me tell you to expect NOTHING (Joanna Lumley styleee) But that it shall all be rather wonderfUL!”!!!!
ARTIST/S: Alice McCabe, Mr Solo, Daniel Lehan and Veronika Spierenburg, Frog Morris, Charlie Fox, Laughing Bear and Unexpected Productions.
The fabled wedding was gracing every newspaper and the hype was spreading beyond everyone’s imagination into popular culture: PEZ containers, sick bags, statements about tea towels and Royal “tea towel bans” flew from Buckingham Palace. All eyes were on the invited as we (a cast of Brits) prepared our parallel performance for the uninvited in Zürich. The audience was told to expect a longer performance of similar quality to the nuptial kiss and wave ceremony.
16.12.10// “I’m a Real Professional” 1st PERFORMANCE at Dunkelholzli Studios, Zürich
A glimpse into the perverse nature of the private view
!! I am here thanks to
Booking confirmed Booking reference: EH8V5QT Please print and take this booking confirmation with you to the airport. It may speed EH9X1N2 ref nO sent from blackhole@easyJet.com EH9X1N2 101204-003942
HMM This could well be the performance of a private view- apart from you expect a spectacle. Here is what do in London: where at a private view you get a very specialist sort of public
ARTIST is performer/Invigilators –my old role and most permanent role in London MIME ARTIST-galerists performing best behaviour and nicest dresses- ELITE elect Audience” roll along with it MAKES viewing the art impossible. So I will now enact a Private View courtesy of H n’ W, London.
Approach myself (creep up arm)(adopt patronising tone) “ALice there’s actually someone inside one of the Subordh-Gupta sculptures”
Oh I’m really sorry
Change into karate kit with open Migros Bag flowchart stretched between my arms so that it looks like I am in a paper stocks. The flow chart tries to determine through a series of questions (related often to how comfortable the audience are) the difference between a Private View and Perverse viewing, getting the audience to ask questions and answer them, with yes or no, so that their opinions literally divide them.