London Dada work 525; "What is art and what is not art?"

What is art and what is not art?
c. 2011 Michael St.Mark

” Art is what you can get away with” – Andy Warhol

‘”The most important thing in art is The Frame. For painting: literally; for other arts: figuratively– because, without this humble appliance, you can’t know where The Art stops and The Real World begins. You have to put a ‘box’ around it because otherwise, what is that shit on the wall?”
Frank Zappa

“I can’t wait to get into a position to make really bad art and get away with it. At the moment if I did certain things people would look at it, consider it and then say ‘f off’. But after a while you can get away with things.” – Damien Hirst

What, on the other hand, is Dada?
Don’t let them fool you into thinking it’s a nonsensical art movement. Far from it.

DADA is the burning search for a new morality” – C. W. Richard Huelsenbeck, co-founder of Dada, 1916.

* * * * * * * * * *

21 thoughts on “London Dada work 525; "What is art and what is not art?"

  1. Ashraf &n&n;;&sbsppbnbsp; nous dit le Salam,Parce que je pense que la moindre des choses seraient qu’ils osent affronter directement leurs consommateurs. Il me sied pas que tu fasses une partie de leur boulot comm. à leur place.


  2. Pingback: Work No 897; What is Art and What is Not Art? II | LONDON DADA

      • I do think art should convey emotion. If a picture leaves you with no emotion, no sense of curiosity, no intrigue or interst its lacking.

        I like your pictures as they provoke my curiosity, they bring things to my attention. They make me see the world through your eyes.

        The one at the top just reminds me of my driving!!!! lol

        let me know if your book on Morris is any good when you finish reading it.


  3. “Mr Ai, one of China’s best-known artists, rose to international prominence as co-designer of Beijing’s “Bird’s Nest” Olympic Stadium.

    In 2010, he created a carpet of 100 million porcelain sunflower seeds for Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall in London”.

    That may be considered art but is purely a matter of personal opinion 😉


  4. Whoa! these are too ‘deep’ posts for me 😀

    Personally i just like the way the coloured chevrons are framed by the brown ones and that the manhole cover is a frame within a frame—-simples!


    • Yes Brianna – you wrote (spoke) there just like one of the most popular and adorable ad icons of current times. I do not drive any more, but if I did, I’d do whatever it took to get a Meerkat cuddly through my car insurance!(Current offer, I think.) I really love them, and I should have grown out of that sort of thing years ago. Other than that, I only have a bit of contents insurance and that costs me about £4 each month. I don’t think there’s any sort of big enough bucks in that to try to attract my business with the blandishment of a meerkat cuddly!
      A xx


  5. What is Art? I’d say here the framed (most appropriately) manhole cover with interesting chevron decoration.
    Rachel Heyho-Flint is a bit of an expert, I believe, on manhole covers. There’s a quote somewhere.
    A xx


      • It’s the framing. When a piece is well framed, set in context, you have Art. It’s a sort of human, perhaps limiting need.
        A case in point is the wonderful Rodin work ‘The Kiss’ which when in the Tate (now Tate Britain) was beautifully set, wonderfully framed by its surroundings. Now (I believe it still is) in Tate Modern, and set quite near the loos and baggage place, it barely makes it. The setting and the crass lighting fuck it up. Have you seen ‘The Gates of Hell’ at Rodin’s house in Paris? Have you seen ‘The Burghers of Calais’ IN Calais? I think of a road framed with the most gorgeous trees, rolling through the seasons from Spring to Winter, then, like your pic yesterday, coming back to life. It’s called locally ‘The Straight Mile’. It’s the setting and the framing. Hence the manhole cover (with or without Rachel Heyho-Flint’s definition) falls well for me.
        A xx


      • Did the photographer ‘frame’ the piece? I think it’s a pic of a re-laid piece of paving, albeit very well re-laid. The black pole is very top central. Here is the slight conflict between pragmatism and Art. In the manhole cover, there’s almost – not quite, but almost, a ‘golden section’ which is essential in any Art. There’s no ‘Vanishing Point’, but the manhole cover offers the start of one. I may not have it, but I feel that ANY Art from any artist, accidental or deliberate needs some basic devices to lift it into Art. Warhol had something, didn’t he? Oh God, NOW I want to go to TM again!
        A xx


      • I really don’t know about that.. I just fleetingly glimpsed a dichotomy of some sort there – and pointed and shot.
        The real Golden Section is perception, in my eyes @ least.

        Thanks fot the interest at any rate.


      • Clearly, you are an artist. I cannot make Art, but I think you can. The Golden Section is not a perception, it exists and ANY Art can own it. There’s a pic on here which was never intended to be beautiful, or to be Art, I think, but it has every element needed, by accident, and it is beautiful. Another is your lying down tree. It may not have been intentional, but wow! I love it, and I know WHY I love it. Well done MSM.
        A xx


      • Yes I know, the GS is a defined proportion of area, something like a fractal dimension 😉
        I’m currently reading ( wading ) a huge tome on William Morris and the PRs just now.. just so as I clearly understand what real art really is 😉
        Now. What is Dada do you suppose?


      • I may of course have missed the point, but what I believe Da da is, is a bit like this:
        Dada is not necessarily about pictures, or any particular Art form. It is cultural, and in an age of very strict cultural norms, along came the awfulness of the First World War, an event I believe was created by those with the temerity to have set the cultural norms people lived by. I think Dadaism was a movement almost of anarchy, and remains that.
        Now, when you talk of the mathematical issues surrounding the Golden Section, I struggle because I have a poor grasp of mathematics beyond the basics, so bear with me. It’s true there is a fractal relationship in the Golden Section, and I believe it is pretty precise. However, I believe the measurement came AFTER the human and spiritual discovery of this phenomenon. An artist will ‘see’ the Golden Section (or ‘Golden Mean’) without making any measurements, and they will just about always get it.
        A xx


      • Yes, that almost determines the sensitivity of the artist. Just as Leonardo was reportedly able to draw freehand an almost perfect circle. At the point where the image looks “right” to the artist’s eye, was found to correspond closely to the mathematical GS horizontal area division ratio within the image.

        Re Dada… now comes the awfulness of the collapse of old worn out 20th C. values.
        ” Destruction is also creation” – a Dada moto. And so it has to be again today.
        Although the Dadaists were hated at the time, paradoxically if there had been no Dada movement in 1916 there would be no modern art to speak of.
        Viva New Dada!


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