In Part 2 of my article on Performance art I will be concentrating on Dadaism and surrealism two art movements which involved theatre, exhibitions and Performances mainly organised in opposition to the Impending Imperialist War. John Heartfield and George Groz were both members of the Communist Party and active in Demonstrations , Political strikes ,Insurrections and Impromptu Theatrical performances.
Goldberg continues the commentary on aspects of Dadaism.
” Berlins Dada’s early performances resembled the Zurich ones , however the literary Clientile had indeed been anxious to see the dada legend materialise “. .
” Groz recited his poetry, You sons of Bitches Materialists Bread-eaters professors Butchers pimps You bums. then Groz now an eager subscriber to Dada’s anarchy urinated on a Expressionist painting”. .
Dada was concerned to see Expressionism abolished and that’s why the Dada artists relentlessly attacked Expressionism wherever they saw it.
” But Dada was determined to conquer Berlin and banish Expressionism from the City limits and to establish itself as an adversary to abstract Art.”..
” Dada was at the height of its notoriety and people flocked to Berlin to experience the Dada rebellion at first hand”. .
Continuing my exploration of Dadaism I will now come to consider the role of Surrealism which was to challenge Dadaism.
” Berlin Dada was drawing to a end . The first International Dada fair at the Burchard gallery in June 1920 ironically revealed Dada’s exhaustion. Groz and Heartfield increasingly politicised with the menace of current Events( German Revolution Insurrection and War)”. .
” When the Dadaists performed there ( Club De Feuborg) in Paris a few weeks later the only appeal of Dada to this informed gathering was its anarchy and Revolution of the mind. to them Dada represented the destruction of established Order”. .
Breton , Tristan Tsara and Aragon staged a phoney trial acted out with great Irony and patische.
” The trial gave a public airing to the deep rooted enmity between Tsara and Breton ,Picabia and the Dadaists”. .
” Meanwhile Breton was planning an event of his own it was to be The Congress of Paris”. .
The Congress of Paris was not a great success as Breton, Eluard and Aragon later admitted.
” But the failure of the Congress almost marked the final break of Breton , Eluard Aragon and Peret with the Dadaists”. .
” The year 1925 marked the official foundation of the surrealist Movement with the publication of the surrealist Manifesto”. .
The Role of the Bauhaus and Automatism was to figure greatly in the development of Surrealist activities.
” The notion of automatism formed the core of Breton’s early definition of surrealism. Pure psychic automatism by which an attempt is made to express either verbally , in writing or in any other manner the functioning of thought”. .
” The Bauhaus a teaching institution for the arts had opened its doors in April 1919 (The Year of the failed German revolution and the year Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Libenicht were Killed and murdered by the Freikorps) in a very different mood Gropius ‘s Romantic Bauhaus Manifesto had called for the Unification of the arts in a Cathedral of socialism”. .
Goldberg explains the importance of Gropius holding the Bauhaus together as a community.
” The Bauhaus Community was held together as much by its manifesto and Gropius’s novel vision of a Teaching school for the Arts”. .
” From the first day of its existence the Bauhaus sensed the impulse for creative theatre”. 
Wassily Kandinsky as well as Paul Klee taught at the Bauhaus and were extremely good friends as well as excellent Expressionist Painters.
” In a different way Wassily Kandinsky had in 1928 used painting as the characters of a Performance itself. so Kandinsky designed visual equivalents to Mussorgsky ‘s musical phrases with Movable coloured forms and light Projections”.
This concludes my second part on Performance art dealing with Dadaism and surrealism. In Part 3 I will be starting with Performance in the USA in the 1960’s and 1970’s which would display a controversial aspect, continuing until our present period with extreme sexual and erotic performances which at times would challenge the Spectator.
- PERFORMANCE ART FROM FUTURISM TO THE PRESENT: ROSE LEE GOLDBERG. PG.67