College of Liberal Arts & Sciences
BA (Bachelor of Arts)
Session and Year of Graduation
Honors Major Advisor
This thesis focuses on understanding two Dada Publications printed by artist Man Ray: The Ridgefield Gazook (1915) and TNT (1919). While the word Dada was not formally attached to the New York artists’ movements at the beginning of the twentieth century, it was clear that some New York avant-garde poetry and art functioned in a “Dada Spirit”. Here I will examine one publication issued before the word Dada was used to designate an artistic network and one after, to see how one artist (later proclaimed Dadaist) treated Dada in New York. Overall, these printed Dada periodicals help one see aesthetic, political, and social concerns that bred New York Dada.
Since understanding what exactly Dada is no easy feat, I will use Johanna Drucker’s The Visible Word to glimpse how the physical and typographical elements of these New York periodicals relate to those in Europe. Second, Francis Naumann’s scholarship on the life and works of Man Ray in New York offer a comprehensive understanding of the social and historical implications in Man Ray’s specific works. These in combination with several other scholars whose works range from Dada’s history to the history of mass media offer this thesis a more comprehensive picture of New York Dada periodicals and their implications.
Thinking about the periodical as principal medium to share Dada with the world, I attempt to see how typographic innovation and strategic production of each periodical was influenced by the cultural and political happenings surrounding them. Though Dada publications are largely an assemblage of contradictory works, Man Ray who would later launch the official “New York Dada” periodical in 1921, shows in these two how the proto-Dada sentiments were, like in Zürich, driven by a critique of the social and political climate than mere irreverence.
New York, periodical
Copyright © 2017 Emma Husar