The theme of the issue is Exhibiting Dada and Surrealism, guest edited by Professor Kathryn Floyd of Auburn University, a former student library assistant at Iowa. In addition to the theme section, we have articles on Dada and music, on Breton, Mayakovsky, and photography, and on the surrealist film La Perle. Finally, in our first venture into multimedia, we present a video of Andrei Codrescu’s lecture-performance at the University of Iowa Libraries in connection with the exhibition Documenting Dada / Disseminating Dada.
Dada/Surrealism is the peer-reviewed open-access journal of the Association for the Study of Dada and Surrealism. It is published by the International Dada Archive, Special Collections, University of Iowa Libraries. The general editor is Tim Shipe.
Documenting Dada / Disseminating Dada is an exhibition featuring items from the University of Iowa Libraries’ International Dada Archive, the world’s most comprehensive collection of material related to the Dada movement. Timothy Shipe who is the curator of the International Dada Archive and a librarian in Special Collections curated the exhibition.
From 1916 to 1923, a new kind of artistic movement swept Europe and America. Its very name, “DADA,” was notably missing the obligatory “ism,” distinguishing it from the long line of avant-gardes that had determined the preceding century of art history.
More than a mere art movement, Dada claimed a broader role as an agent of cultural, social, and political change. Its proponents wanted to affect all aspects of Western civilization, to take part in the revolutionary changes unfolding as inevitable results of the chaos of World War I.
The Dada movement was perhaps the single most decisive influence on the development of twentieth-century art, and its innovations are so pervasive as to be virtually taken for granted today.
This exhibition highlights Dada’s printed output, which documents the ephemeral aspects of the movement and shows how the dadaists used their publications to spread the movement beyond its origins in Zurich.
On January 18, 2017 the exhibition was officially opened with a ribbon cutting. The ribbon cutting involved creating a Dadaist poem inspired by the instructions from Dada writer Tristan Tzara:
“To make a Dadaist Poem” (1920):
Take a newspaper.
Take some scissors.
Choose from this paper an article the length you want to make your poem.
Cut out the article.
Next carefully cut out each of the words that make up this article and put them all in a bag.
Next take out each cutting one after the other.
Copy conscientiously in the order in which they left the bag.
The poem will resemble you.
And there you are—an infinitely original author of charming sensibility, even though unappreciated by the vulgar herd.
Wednesday, 4/13: Iowa Bibliophiles, Jane Murphy and Mark Brookfield, 36 year partners in Murphy-Brookfield Books, will talk about the enormous changes brought on by Internet bookselling in the last 20+ years. (Refreshments 6:30PM, Talk 7PM, Special Collections Reading Room).
DEADLINE EXTENDED TO APRIL 15, 2016: Apply for the Linda and Richard Kerber fund for financial support to research in the Iowa Women’s Archives http://www.lib.uiowa.edu/iwa/kerber/
University Archivist David McCartney traveled this week to accept the 2016 Distinguished Archives Alumni award from the iSchool at the University of Maryland. Join us in congratulating David!
Tim Shipe has just returned from his mostly Dada-related European travels. He started in Amsterdam, where he acquired books by Dutch writers who had participated in the International Writing Program. Proceeding via Cologne, where he met with curators at two museums devoted to German dadaists, he then flew to Bucharest, where he was an invited keynote speaker at an international conference on Dada held at the Romanian Academy. He ended his travels in Zurich, where the Dada centennial celebrations were in full swing. After meeting with numerous librarians, curators, and scholars, his Swiss sojourn culminated in another keynote address, this time at the Cabaret Voltaire, in the very room where the Dada movement was born in 1916. The picture shows Tim in the Cabaret just after completing his lecture.
This Week’s Best from Social Media:
Ethan DeGross testing the 3D model on the interactive screen which is part of the “Explorer’s Legacy” exhibition in the Main Library gallery, open through April 8th.
A new episode in the If Books Could Talk video series debuted this week on YouTube. If Books Could Talk is a collaboration between the University of Iowa Libraries and History Corps, a digital public history initiative from the University of Iowa Department of History.
While these photos were fun to take (Geometry! Yay!), Russell Maret’s 2014 work Interstices & Intersections must be seen in person to understand the way the structure of the book impacts the text. You can also see several books of Euclid’s Elements of Geometry, the inspiration behind Maret’s work, in Special Collections. – Margaret Gamm
Events & Workshops Recap:
3/4/2016 Bruce Whiteman, Head Librarian Emeritus of the William Andrews Clark Memorial Library at UCLA, gave a workshop for the Center for the Book last Friday on forgeries and drew extensively from Special Collections to demonstrate the history of forgeries, fakes, pirated copies, hoaxes, false imprints, and counterfeits. Special Collections is deeply grateful for his generous sharing of his expertise making it possible to better identify and describe our collections.
3/5/2016 The Iowa Women’s Archives kicked off Women’s History Month by celebrating the contributions of Iowa Latinas to our history and the formation of the Latina/o Studies minor on campus. Mujeres Latinas: Every Woman Has a Story brought 62 participants to the Library for a two-hour workshop Saturday morning. I especially enjoyed the participatory aspect of the event – from the Latina/o Studies announcement to the terrific contributions of the students and heartfelt memories from members of the public about their own family history and the artifacts/documents they brought to share. After the event, many participants headed out of the library to other venues to “continue the discussion.” – Janet Weaver, Assistant Curator, Iowa Women’s Archives
3/9/2016 The Iowa Bibliophiles welcomed Doug Russell, senior judge of the Iowa District Court, who addressed the Bibliophiles on books by and about famous bibliophiles, their book collections, and the books they have written about collecting.
By Tim Shipe, Curator, International Dada Archive, and Arts & Literature Liaison
We are pleased to announce the publication of issue no. 20 of our journal Dada/Surrealism, a special number entitled From Dada to Infra-noir: Dada, Surrealism, and Romania.”http://ir.uiowa.edu/dadasur/vol20/iss1/.
Co-edited by Monique Yaari of the Pennsylvania State University and Timothy Shipe of the University of Iowa, our thematic issue includes eighteen articles by scholars and critics from North America, Europe, and Israel, as well as a selection of primary documents newly translated into English and a substantial bibliography. From Dada to Infra-Noir is the first essay collection in English on the subject of Romanian Dada and surrealism in literature and the visual arts, both within Romania and in the (largely francophone) diaspora.
Dada/Surrealism is the peer-reviewed, free and open-access journal of the Association for the Study of Dada and Surrealism, and is published by the International Dada Archive, Special Collections, University of Iowa Libraries.
Profuse thanks are due to Wendy Robertson for her expertise, patience, and hard work in bringing this project to fruition.