A Dada Day
I have had an odd day. This article will be of a different form to usual; I’m writing it on the go while at an event. The Worcester Music Festival is going on this weekend and I saw an event organised called adadaday. It was advertised as a celebration of 100 years since Dadaism as an art form started. I’ve just arrived and there was a man in a mask and a cape beckoning me and saying the word aardvark over and over again. I could see him from the road and for the entirety of my walk he made floaty come-hither gestures. I'm sat here waiting for it to begin and drinking something akin to jelly (which they call aardvark essence) and I can see a large proportion of the artistic Worcester scene represented here. I've heard the word vegan three times in the ten minutes I've been here and there are all manners of brilliant outfit going on. The sounds coming from the next room are slightly eerie and I'm actually quite excited. Judging from the people around me I'm glad that I chose to wear an eccentric outfit today; I'm rocking a purple carnation. Currently eating blue popcorn.
Currently sitting out in the garden during the intermission. There have been four quarter hour Dada films, alternating between early 20th century pieces and more modern works. All of them are silent and surreal, with live musicians at the back of the room playing a score. It kicked off with a minute long Dada poem which was entirely comprised of made up words while the image of a jolly fellow in an eye patch filled the screen. Then the first film played and it can be best described as the opening theme of American Horror Story series 1 extended to 15 minutes. Even the music was similar.
After that a powerful piece where the story was told by people's shadows aired. It then got a bit weird, which appears to be the MO of Dadaism. The last of the films was a 5 second film looping for 15 minutes but with ever increasing music. Somehow it managed to remain captivating.
OK, the second half is over and I’m reconnecting with normality in a different pub in the music festival. Dadaism seems quite broad, with some of the films going heavy on metaphor and illusion (although I'm not convinced actually to anything) while others were purposefully minimalist or reductionist. One film called Hey Dave had a close up of a mouth, reminiscent of Rocky Horror, and had variations of the sentence "Hey Dave" repeated over heavy drum and bass with a trance undertone. Another called Ghosts Before Breakfast, had, well it would just sound ridiculous. Instead I will try to give you the same experience that I had: listen to this, while watching this.
Thank you Worcester for a bizarre afternoon. I was pleasantly surprised to find my home city had a surrealist scene to this day and even more so that I recognised so many of the people within it. I'm glowing from the realisation that the Bohemian Montmartre that I idolise can be found on my doorstep and I've manage to spend the whole day rubbing shoulders with the artists while writing a half dozen articles to original music.