DADA Birdhouse (for BAD birds) by Gary Varro
Description: Reclaimed aluminum letters, marble, wire, chain, welding glue
This birdhouse was inspired by and constructed with vintage metal letters I have had around my house for a very long time. In the process of playing with the various letters to form a conceptual birdhouse, two As and two Ds were finally selected and form the word DADA, which references the art movement from the early 20th century (see description below) Serendipitously, DADA Birdhouse (for BAD birds) comes to align with the ideology of the Dada movement and its criticism of conflict (war), political power, and art itself.
The letter B forms the ‘roof’ of the birdhouse, and creates another work BAD, which has been worked into the name of the birdhouse. BAD DADA, DADA B, DAB, or infinitely DADADADADADAADADA…. are other ways of interpreting this sculptural birdhouse.
Dada was an art movement formed during the First World War in Zurich in negative reaction to the horrors and folly of the war. The art, poetry and performance produced by dada artists is often satirical and nonsensical in nature.
Dada artists felt the war called into question every aspect of a society capable of starting and then prolonging it – including its art. Their aim was to destroy traditional values in art and to create a new art to replace the old. As the artist Hans Arp later wrote:
Revolted by the butchery of the 1914 World War, we in Zurich devoted ourselves to the arts. While the guns rumbled in the distance, we sang, painted, made collages and wrote poems with all our might.
In addition to being anti-war, dada was also anti-bourgeois and had political affinities with the radical left.
They were also experimental, provocatively re-imagining what art and art making could be. Using unorthodox materials and chance-based procedures, they infused their work with spontaneity and irreverence. Wielding scissors and glue, Dada artists innovated with collage and photomontage. Still others explored games, experimental theatre, and performance. A central figure, Marcel Duchamp, declared common, manufactured goods to be “readymade” artworks, radically challenging the notion of a work of art as something beautiful made by a technically skilled artist.
Bio: Gary Varro is a curator and visual artist based in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada where in 1996 he established and continues to present Queer City Cinema Festival and more recently Performatorium Festival of Queer Performance. Gary is also a free-lance curator, with recent media arts programs for MIXNYC and ongoing for Pitos Waskochepayis in Prince Albert.
Since the mid 90’s, Gary Varro’s visual art practice has proposed critical relationships with the architectural and social spaces they occupy and reference. Often performative in nature, Gary has begun the exploration of performance as an additional form of expression and art making that has included participation in the inaugural Intergenerational LGBT Artist Residency on Toronto Island (2013), Soft Peak performed at LIVE International Performance Art Biennale in Vancouver (2013) and the Banff Research in Culture: Distributed Intimacies program at the Banff Centre (2014). Performances include WTF! (at Rencontre internationale d’art performance de Québec in Quebec City (2014) ; Soft Peak performed at 7a11d International Festival of Performance Art in Toronto (2014) ; and Supernovae performed at Neutral Ground Contemporary Art Forum. Areas of interest include: queer identities; public/private domains; self humiliation and vulnerability; spectacle and transgression; humour and pathos, endurance and the creative process itself.
Opening Bid: $200