The Easter Story Meets The Dada Style
A unique context can transform familiar content. Using photomontage, assemblage and other mediums of art, I was able to work with an amazing team to create an experience out of the Easter story, through the context of the Dada Movement.
From 1916-1924, the German Dada style took over the art world with its over-the-top aesthetic. The movement embraced the grotesque, nonsense and destruction in the world. It sought to tear everything apart and put it back together with a new message in a way that people had never seen before. It was a blatant revolt against tradition and familiarity and one of the first art movements that didn't focus on creating images that looked pretty, but on conveying the most extreme emotion through the compositions.
“There is a great negative work of destruction to be accomplished. We must sweep and clean. Affirm the cleanliness of the individual after the state of madness, aggressive complete madness of a world abandoned to the hands of bandits, who rend one another and destroy the centuries.” -1918 Dada Manifesto
While developing this branded experience, I wanted to take the core inspirations from the movement and use them as the guiding voice for a telling of the Easter story.
Life defeated death.
Hope invaded hurt.
Light emerged from darkness.
One of the stylistic identifiers of the Dada movement is the use of a medium called photomontage. In this technique, existing images were cut out of papers and reassembled. Art was ripped from the original context to create a new one. We are using the photomontage form to pull images from their original context and repurpose them to point to the Easter story.
Another popular Dada technique was assemblage. In this style, artists created sculptures out of found materials. They took objects or forms that were understood by the public and changed the context to create a deeper and different meaning than the parts individually suggested. We will be using this style as we transformed the spaces around our experience the lobby into a Dada art gallery.
While creating this experience, we wanted to explore the complexity of human emotion. We wanted our visitors to feel the weight of the story. Below is one of my favorite photos from the experience. It captures the forbidden and unnerving tone of the night perfectly.
Contributors: Emily Poulin, Dex Alexander, Merea Price, Lori Albee, Bethany Cordes, Justin Pardee, Adam Sims