Punk art, through the historical bounds of DADA


From the close of the nineteenth century, and the beginning of the twentieth century, the people started to create a variety of theories, ideologies and movements. All these were spread, took action (some of those, set the bounds of a partial or total dispute), and finally were transformed, and many times commercialized, through subcultures and movements of the second half of this century. In a world which searches values and symbols desperately, the aggression and the anger of all those movements, were deposited in a form of art that permeated among the twentieth century, using as a vehicle some movements, which seemed to have no relation between them. Virtually, those movements were different reflections of the same need for aggresion and revolution.
 This project, is an effort to connect and relate Dada and the art movements that came after it and ¨ borrowed¨ several elements from it, with a pop- subculture like punk. The parallel study of these movements, arises from a process of probing some of the historical facts and social conditions of the ages which those movements took place. This study, extends to the art, and the graphic design, without being weaned away from the social and political conditions of the ages that all those movements grew.

Punk is not a “pure” art form, as it intended for a general and large public, even if it set against the capitalistic society, it had a tight relation with the commerce (records, big concerts, advertisement). In spite of this fact it managed to popularize the theories of many previous art and theory movements of the same century, using many elements, taken from the methodology of all these movements. The social and politic bounds in which the Punk movement developed, were very important for its formation. In the late seventies, the society was full of rock super stars. The great problems of unemployment and the class disparities push the young people to ructions, to the search out for a new world of their own, which finally would lead them to the total dispute, nihilism, and the permanent break from the past and the traditional values. The beginning of this process of disputation, through an art form, was Dada, an art movement that was born in the flames of the first world war and, it was the first time in the history of art that an art movement declared undisguising the refusal of every acceptable art form. Dada tried to destroy all the estabilished art values. It reached in the total refusal of all the art movements including itself.

The revolutions that face against the ruling system of values, is a model of human behaviour that we usually find in the world history. From usual revolutions of the slaves in the ancient Greece, till the May of 1968 in France. The revolutions in art, break fron the estabilished academic style. Dada and Punk, through the dispute which lead them to a nihilistic approach, they have managed to revert the conventional notions of elegance and beauty. Dada, through this total refusal , managed to bring new novelties in the art. These novelties have been used by the subsequent art and pop movements.

Mayby the placement and the study of a pop – subculture, like the Punk, beside a very important art movement like Dada, which requized some of the most important artists of the century, seems to be arbitrary. But the similarity of the attitude of the representatives of the two movements, even the fact that the Punk’s influences from Dada are obvous through the graphic novelties that Punk proposed on the record covers, posters, and the punk-comicbooks.

The most important reasons refering us the study of movements like Dada and Punk nowdays, are that they always remain on time because they are “alive” and specially, they are describable impressions of the archetypal extreme and anticomformist human behaviour. Impressions of the “explosion” that inevitably follows the “pressure” that happens in a group of people under difficult social conditions of one specific historical moment. An “explosion” that many times has the need to challenge, to reverse, to set off through the expressions of art, and at the end, to puzzle. By this way it acquires extremely interesting creative extentions. The fact is that the extreme and marginal situations were always a big step to creativity…