What Is Neo-Dada?

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Neo-Dada is a term that refers to mid-20th century art that challenged the traditional definitions of art, pushed the boundaries of the art world and birthed important performance and conceptual art. Experience neo-Dadaism with information from an art historian, critic and curator in this free video on art.

Part of the Video Series: Modern Art History
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Video Transcript

Hi, this is professor Betty Brown. Neo-Dada is a term given to mid-20th century practitioners who, like the Dada artists before them in the early 20th century, sought to challenge the traditional definitions of art and expand the boundaries around that category "art" and create artworks that maybe wouldn't fit well inside a gold frame on a museum wall. The first is Robert Rauschenberg, who did everything from performance art to painting to collage to assemblage to computer art before his recent death. But another Neo-Dada artist is still making art, and that's Yoko Ono. I'm sure you know about her as the one-time wife of the Beatle John Lennon, but perhaps you're not aware that she was a very avant-garde performance artist and member of the avant-garde Neo-Dada movement known as Fluxus. Yoko Ono did a performance which was called "Cut," where she sat on a stage and invited viewers to come cut her clothes off with scissors that she provided while she sat there passively and watched how they would respond to this provocation. I ask you to imagine the fear and questions that went through her mind as people came up and cut her clothes off. Certainly not what many people would call art, certainly a challenge to the definition of art. Yoko Ono can be considered a Neo-Dada artist.


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