Amoeblog

The strange bedfellows of Hugo Ball and Marie Osmond

Posted by Whitmore, February 22, 2009 07:56pm | Post a Comment

Today is the anniversary of the birth of one of the creators of Dada, Hugo Ball -- Feb 22nd, 1886. In 1916 he co-founded the Cabaret Voltaire club in Zurich along with the likes of Jean Arp, Emmy Hennings, Tristan Tzara, Marcel Janco, and Richard Huelsenbeck, where the anti-art movement of Dadaism began. The same year Ball wrote his poem Karawane, which consists of nonsensical words, I like to think they’re German nonsensical words. Another poem, Gadji beri bimba, was later adapted by David Byrne and the Talking Heads for the song entitled "I Zimbra" on their 1979 album Fear of Music.
 
Marie Osmond is of course a member of the legendary show business family the Osmonds. She has also had her share of hit records like “Paper Roses” besides working with her big brother, Donny, on the hit TV variety show Donny & Marie back in the 1970’s. Most recently she’s been a spokesman for the Nutrisystem brand of weight loss meals. And to be perfectly honest I think she’s looking pretty good -- a side note, I think she also got hosed on Dancing with the Stars back in 2007 (sure she received the lowest scores ever in a Dancing With the Stars finals history, but her ridiculous attempts were sort of ...dadaistic. Well, anyway ...)
 
But once a long time ago, in a distant galaxy, in a bright neon yellow bathrobe befit for perhaps Arthur Dent on Xanax washed down with a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster, Marie Osmond was also a spokesman for the Dada Movement. Believe it or not, here is some footage of Marie talking art history, Dadaism, good ol’ Hugo Ball and reciting his sound poem Karawane. First, a warning-- don’t look too closely into her eyes...
 
Happy birthday Hugo, and a happy gadjama affalo pinx gaga di bumbalo bumbalo gadjamen back to you....
 
Gadji beri bimba (1916)

gadji beri bimba glandridi
laula lonni cadori  
gadjama gramma berida
bimbala glandri
galassassa laulitalomini  
gadji beri bin
blassa glassala
laula lonni cadorsu sassala bim

Continue reading...

Tristan Tzara

Posted by Whitmore, April 19, 2008 08:16pm | Post a Comment
I often seem to be a bit late in writing about historical events on the anniversary of said occurrence; I blame time itself for not allowing me a few minutes to catch my breath, so here I am, several days late, again, celebrating the birthday of one of my favorite characters of the 20th century.

On April 16th, 1896 Samuel Rosenstock (a.k.a. the once and future Tristan Tzara) was born in Moinesti, Bacau Province in Romania. Most famous as the author of the Dada Manifesto and co-founder in 1916 of the original anti-art and literary movement, Dadaism, along with Hugo Ball, Emmy Hennings, Marcel Janco, Hans Arp and Richard Huelsenbeck, Tzara is often credited with discovering the name Dada. One version of the story has him hanging out at the acting Dada headquarters, the Cabaret Voltaire, in Zurich,Switzerland, and randomly selecting a name by stabbing a French-German dictionary with a knife, picking the word impaled by the blade’s point. Dada is a French child's colloquialism for hobby-horse. If it isn’t true, at least it’s good myth. Besides the knife play and original manifesto, Tzara, as leading agitator, also wrote many of the earliest Dada documents including La Première Aventure céleste de Monsieur Antipyrine (The First Heavenly Adventure of Mr. Antipyrine, 1916) and Vingt-cinq poemes (Twenty-Five Poems, 1918). Some of his later works include his masterpiece L’Homme Approximatif (The Approximate Man, 1931), Parler Seul (Speaking Alone, 1950), and La Face Intérieure (The Inner Face, 1953).

[Last year for Tristan Tzara’s 111th birthday I decided to place 111 pink post-its, each numbered sequentially, on randomly chosen objects- buildings, cars, envelopes, people - anything and everything that got in my way as I carved out my day; I believed it to be a perfectly useless and wanky endeavor to pursue. This year for his 112th birthday I thought I’d celebrate by lying about what I actually did last year. Next year I plan on observing his 113th birthday (and prime number) in Zurich by partying at the remnants of the Cabaret Voltaire, and re-live what I did there 20 years ago; relieve myself on the wall outside, just around the corner from the front entrance, on the side street under the Commemorative Memorial plaque. Of course, I suspect, I’ll re-invent, once again, events in Zurich.]