VISUAL DADA – INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE, Bucharest, June 24-25th 2016, Central University Library

full name / name of organization: 
University of Bucharest - Center of Excellence in Image Study CESI
contact email: 

Bucharest, June 24-25th, 2016
University of Bucharest
Center of Excellence in Image Study CESI

Some Preceding VISUAL DADA Events

Monday, June 20th: Dada films at the Cinémathèque
Tuesday, June 21st: Unteatru: Travesties, by Tom Stoppard
Wednesday, June 22nd: Lectures at the MNAR (National Art Museum)
Thursday, June 23rd: Lectures at the MNAR (National Art Museum)

Bucharest, June 24-25th, 2016
Central University Library

In order to ensure the thematic focus of the presentations and, primarily, that of the congress as a whole, as well as to avoid the repetition of subjects already tackled during other Bucharest public events, we invite you to focus on visual representations and rely on media (including various forms of performance) other than text. The proposed time frame involves particularly the Swiss period (Zürich, 1916-1918), the German period (Berlin, Köln, Hannover, 1918-1922) and the French period, albeit limited: 1919-1920, Salle Gaveau Festival - 1921 (until Breton's declaration of separation) – or possibly 1923 (until the physical conflict with Tzara and Eluard on one side and Breton and Aragon on the other). We would also be interested in discussions that consider expressions of Dadaism in different countries, for instance Theo van Doesburg's Holland or 1916-1924 Romania, including Contimporanul and the 1924 exhibition Contimporanul, so as to analyze the transition from Dadaism to Constructivism or to what could be called, especially with regard to Marcel Janco, the "post-Dada" period. The context of the United States and Duchamp or the pure temporal coincidence between Zürich Dada and Lenin, Joyce or perhaps others would be equally insightful.

Consequently, we propose that the congress themes go beyond Dada literature, the establishment and discontinuation of certain journals and the personal relationships between the movement's participants. Similarly, we suggest that no special emphasis be placed on the history of the Romanian avant-garde before and after Dada (for instance Simbolul or the period after 1924), and we also suggest renouncing the reiteration of the innumerable conflicts between Tzara and Breton, or others in France.


Please find below a range of topics and approaches that are by no means mandatory. Once again, they are suggested in order to offer a certain degree of thematic focus to the program.

The sociology of the creative thinking group: from Benedict Anderson's "imagined community" to Homi Bhabha's "unhomely contra-modernity".

• The distance between Dada and other "(non-modernist) rungs on the same ladder": Cubism, Futurism, Constructivism. Among other aspects, see the relations with Russian artists and émigrés such as Kandinsky, Malevich, El Lissitzky, Tatlin.
• The distance between Dada and "(modernist?) rungs on different ladders": journals such as Der Blaue Reiter, Der Sturm, Die Aktion and Swiss painters (Böcklin, Klee).

German Dada: Political and apolitical Dada: German Bolshevism (R. Huelsenbeck, Die Novembergruppe), less radical forms of political involvement: Max Ernst, Hans Arp, Kurt Schwitters, Hannah Höch, and philosophical reflections upon politics: Hugo Ball.
After Zürich: Marcel Janco
Dada and "Late-Dada": Duchamp
"Lateral" Dadaists: Urmuz, for instance
From Dada to Constructivism: Contimporanul

Post-Dada with Dada "nostalgia": Pop Art, conceptualism, the end of art


• Collage
• Chance combination of words and/or images
• Found or constructed objects
• Installations
• Gestures
• Multimedia
• "Verse ohne Worte" ("Verses without words") – Hugo Ball
• Masks and costumes
• Bruitism
• Abolished concepts: "interiority", spirit, aesthetics, Subject, the Other

Organizing Committee:
Raluca Bibiri, Roxana Gibescu, Laura Mesina, Igor Mocanu, and Cristian-Robert Velescu.
Coordinator: Sorin Alexandrescu, Director of CESI

Abstract Submission Deadline: May 8, 2016
Results of abstract reviews returned to authors: May 23, 2016.

All abstracts must include: title, name of the author, institutional affiliation, contact information.
The proposal must not exceed 600 words.
Communication languages: English, French, Romanian.

Proposals should be sent to:
contact: Roxana Gibescu

The final papers will be published in a multilingual volume (English, French, Romanian).
Guidelines for submission of final papers will be communicated after the acceptance of participation.

Registration fee:
• 50 EUROS (or 220 RON);
• MA and Drs: 30 EUROS (or 130 RON).
The fee covers lunches and coffee breaks during the conference.
The registration fee will be paid during the registration.

All participants are responsible for their travel and accommodation arrangements. Accepted authors will receive a list of hotels in the vicinity of the conference venue, Central University Library.