D is for Dada Kontrapunkt #6 combines art and dance at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art • By ORI J. LENKINSKI A letter on its own has little meaning – a shape, a construct, an arbitrary meeting of lines. However, when put together into words and thoughts, letters have the power to move mountains, stir our hearts and change the world. One hundred years ago, a group of artists got together to honor and question the simple structures that are letters. The Dada movement, whose impact is still felt greatly today, began as a challenge to the art world and, on a larger scale, to society on the whole.
Founded in Switzerland in 1916, Dada stripped down the ornate tendencies of visual art, leaving bare, minimalist structures to play around with. Both in the Dada movement and the tributary Lettrist movement in France, classic symbols such as numbers and letters became raw material for artists to compose at will.