Republicans, Dadaists Declare War On Art

Top Headlines


Where Your Political Donation Goes

With over $1 billion spent in the 2016 presidential race alone, campaign donations continue to cause much controversy and even confusion for their role in shaping politics. Here is a step-by-step guide to how the average American’s political donation travels through a campaign

Fact-Checking The Third Presidential Debate

Presidential nominees Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump sparred over subjects including foreign policy, the economy, and their fitness to hold the nation’s highest office in the final debate Wednesday. The Onion examines the validity of their assertions

Intergalactic Law Enforcement Officers Place Energy Shackles On Hillary Clinton

PARADISE, NV—Materializing through a dimensional portal in front of a stunned audience at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, intergalactic law enforcement officers reportedly appeared onstage during Wednesday night’s presidential debate and placed a pair of glowing blue energy shackles on Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

Trump Complains Entire Personality Rigged Against Him

WEST PALM BEACH, FL—Responding to his flagging poll numbers and a string of newspaper editorials and cable news pundits questioning his fitness to lead, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump reportedly complained to a rally crowd Thursday that for the entirety of this race, his personality has been rigged against him.

Fact-Checking The Second Presidential Debate

Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican nominee Donald Trump discussed topics including national security, taxes, and their ongoing personal scandals in a contentious town hall presidential debate Sunday. The Onion evaluates the truthfulness of their claims

Trump Vomits Immediately After Seeing Everyday Americans Up Close

ST. LOUIS—His face turning deathly pale and beads of cold sweat forming on his brow as he took his seat for the town hall forum at Washington University, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump reportedly vomited directly onto the debate stage Sunday night upon viewing everyday Americans up close.
End Of Section
  • More News
Up Next

Republicans, Dadaists Declare War On Art

WASHINGTON, DC—Citing the "proliferation of immoral and offensive material throughout America's museums and schools," and waving placards emblazoned with agit-prop fotocollage reading, "diE KUnst ISt tOT, DadA ubEr aLLes" ("Art is dead, dada over all"), a coalition of leading Republican congressional conservatives and early 20th-century Dadaists declared war on art in a joint press conference Monday.

Anti-art crusaders Sen. Jesse Helms (R-NC) and Dadaist provocateur Tristan Tzara call for the dismantling of the institutions regulating public art in a joint press conference Monday.

Calling for the elimination of federal funding for the National Endowment for the Arts; the banning of offensive art from museums and schools; and the destruction of the "hoax of reason" in our increasingly random, irrational and meaningless age, the Republicans and Dadaists were unified in their condemnation of the role of the artist in society today.

"Homosexuals and depraved people of every stripe are receiving federal monies at taxpayer expense for the worst kind of filth imaginable," said U.S. Sen. Jesse Helms (R-NC), a longtime NEA critic.

Dadaist Jean Arp agreed. "Dada is, like nature, without meaning. Dada is for nature and against art," he said.

Added nonsense-poet Hugo Ball, founder of Zurich's famed Cabaret Voltaire: "...'dada' ('Dada'). Adad Dada Dada Dada." Donning an elaborate, primitivist painted paper mask, he then engaged reporters in a tragico-absurd dance, contorting wildly while bellowing inanities.

Helms, well known for his opposition to arts funding, was adamant in his demand for the elimination of the NEA from the national budget.

"The American people will no longer stand for vulgar, nonsensical displays that masquerade as art," said Helms, who, along with U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), demanded the passage of obscenity laws granting police and government officials broader powers in the prosecution and censorship of art.

In a show of solidarity with the Republican legislators, Andre Breton, who founded the surrealist movement in 1923, fired a pistol at random into the crowd, conceptually evoking the hideous irrationality of the collective unconscious and wounding Hatch.

Urging reporters to "imagine a boot stamping on a face, eternally," Breton, along with Max Picabia, the most radical anti-art proponent within the Dadaist camp, then theatrically demonstrated Helms' vision. In a collaborative staged "manifestation," Picabia pencilled a series of drawings, which Breton erased as Picadia went along.

"So-called modern art is, at its core, an absurd and purposeless exercise," Helms said, echoing the Dadaists' illustration of the meaninglessness of art. He then announced the Gramm-Helms Decency Act, a bill that would facilitate the legal prosecution of obscenity, as well as establish stiffer penalities for the creators and exhibitors of "morally objectionable works."

Dadaist leaders were even more strident than Helms, stressing the need for the elimination of not only art, but also of dada itself. "To be a Dadaist means to be against dada," Arp said. "Dada equals anti-dada." Urging full-scale rioting, the assembled Dadaists called for their own destruction, each of them alternately running into the audience to pelt those still on stage with tomatoes.

In a gesture honoring Helms and the new bill, seminal anti-artist Marcel Duchamp drew a moustache and beard on a reproduction of Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa. Duchamp titled the resultant image "L.H.O.O.Q.," a series of initials which, when pronounced in French, forms the sentence "Helms au chaud au cul," or "Helms has hot pants."

Centered in Berlin, Paris and Zurich, the Dadaist movement was launched as a reaction of revulsion to the senseless butchery of World War I. "While the guns rumbled in the distance," Arp said, "we had a dim premonition that power-mad gangsters would one day use art itself as a means of deadening men's minds."

When told of Arp's comments, Helms said he was "fairly certain" that he concurred.


Sign up For The Onion's Newsletter

Give your spam filter something to do.

X Close