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Kantor Dada

Updated: Oct 21, 2019

I have been listening to sound poems by Hugo Ball. At The New School where I was exposed to sound art/audio theory and wrote poetry, I didn't know much about Dada. When I combined the two, it seemed organic. We inadvertently follow traditions. The Dada we know today has a young tradition lending itself to liberal discourse. How long of a life dadaism has is dependent on how strong hegemony is. The strength of the hegemony will be dependent on the reproducibility of a mechanism that is fundamental to human nature.

Tadeusz Kantor "was a Polish painter, assemblage and Happenings artist, set designer and theatre director. Kantor is renowned for his revolutionary theatrical performances in Poland and abroad. Laureate of Witkacy Prize - Critics' Circle Award (1989)." One of Tadeusz Kantor's trademarks is the writer/director's presence on stage as a character of the stageplay. I found myself wondering what Kantor's presence on stage says of dada or maybe what it says about hegemony's appropriation of its opposition. The video above is of the stageplay.

That basic sound dada. Papa. Kantor was the young Polish patriarch unable to let history happen but having no power over it. Instead of subtitles in Polish language screenings of American movies, there is a male voice relaying both male and female actors. A Polish middle-aged man's voice. This phenomenon is a feature of post-communism, a tradition. When American movies were smuggled into USSR and satellites they were spoken over instead of subtitled reinforcing sentimentality. When Kantor performed in NYC he would sell out mostly to people who didn't speak the language The Dead Class (1975) was in.

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