Dada South?

  • Location: South African National Gallery
  • From: December 12, 2009     To: February 28, 2010
Dada South?

Founded in Zürich in 1916, the Dada movement rejected traditional artistic and cultural values. Through its radical ‘anti-art’ stance, artists associated with Dada disrupted conventions of the modernist age and had a profound impact on future forms of creative practice. The resurgence of Neo Dada movements in the 1960s rejuvenated these radical ideas. 

Dada’s legacy is one of fierce political potential through radical disruptions of accepted forms. For some South African artists working during the decades of oppression and isolation of the apartheid era (1948–1994), Dada strategies were a significant influence on their resistance tactics, and one which is finding its way back into the expressions of a new generation of young, contemporary practitioners.

Curated by Roger van Wyk and Kathryn Smith, the exhibition draws together works by South African artists dating from the late 1960s to the present, representing a range of avant-garde positions in the aftermath of Dada, including works by Wopko

Jensma, Neil Goedhals, Jane Alexander, Lucas Seage, Candice Breitz and Kendell Geers, among others. In an adjoining space, original Dada works, including films and publications, will be assembled for exhibition in South Africa for the first time.

A series of seminars and public lectures will accompany the exhibition as part of Iziko Summer School 2010.

Dada South? is made possible through a partnership with the Goethe-Institut and the support of the National Arts Council of South Africa, Pro Helvetia, Mondriaan Foundation, Culturesfrance and others. International loan institutions include: Institute For Foreign Cultural Relations, Stuttgart; Berlin Gallery, Berlin; John Heartfield Archive of the Academy of Arts, Berlin; Kunsthaus Zürich; De Stijl Archives, Netherlands and Institute for Art History, Den Haag.


Nadja Daehnke
Tel: +27 (0)21 467 4673
Email: Andrea Lewis,

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