Linda Albertano, Arlondriah Lenyea, Heather Rabun, Glenn Rodriguez
We caught up with Linda Albertano to get the low-down about DADA, what it means, what it does, how she became a DADAist, and the theme of this year’s new LA-DADA book release (Maintenant11)
MAINTENANT 11: A JOURNAL OF CONTEMPORARY DADA WRITING AND ART (Three Rooms Press) offers a compilation of leading Dada-influenced artists from around the world. This year’s theme, “EYE FOR A LIE,” features work that is timely and relevant examining the concept of “fake” everything—questioning the very essence of truth in what some have labeled the “post-truth” era. Watch Albertano’s live performance Saturday, June 10, 2017 at Beyond Baroque between 8-11pm.
Q: What is DADA?
A: DADA is a point of view that recognizes the inability of conventional thought to cope with local and global crises. The movement began 100 years ago as a protest against the inability of nations and institutions to prevent World War I. DADA has become a lasting international movement against the inertia and customary brain-freeze of the establishment. DADA has never seemed more relevant than it does right now. So, DADA aims to break the rules, to stand common practice on its head and to force the eye to see in a brand new way.
Q: What is your background as an artist and how did you become involved in DADA?
A: I started as a Performance Artist in 1980 and gravitated toward Spoken Word representing Los Angeles at the One World Poetry Festival in Amsterdam. Much like the early DADAists, we female poets ran in packs. Theirs was led by Tristan Tzara. Arthur Cravan, and the Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven. Ours was led by Liz Belile. Many of us performed at South by Southwest in Austin, TX, Lalapalooza (all over Southern California}, Word Women in Boulder, Colorado and “Gynomite – Fearless, Feminist Porn” which was a book, a CD and countless readings up and down the coast. Then Laurel Ann Bogen, Suzanne Lummis and I formed a poetry trio which showed up in New York at the Knitting Factory, at Knox College and Cornell University plus several California venues and universities. Five years ago, I was invited to participate in the DADA Fest at Beyond Baroque, and I feel that I found a home there.
Q: How do the theatrical presentations relate to DADA?
A. DADA is a state of mind and a way of being that presents in all forms of art … writing, poetry, collage, sculpture, painting, music, concept and performance.
Q: Tell us about your poem in the 2017 DADA Journal, Maintenant 11
A: This is the 11th volume of the Maintenant Journal published by Kat Georges and Peter Carlaftes of Three Rooms Press. They have borne the torch of DADA aloft for many years on many continents. With poetry, writing and artistic contributions from all over the world, the Journal is currently carried by the Museum of Modern Art. For five years, the LA DADA Fest has been held at Beyond Baroque featuring such notable poets and local DADAists as S.A. Griffin, Mike M. Mollett, Mona Jean Cedar, Doug Knott, and Richard Modiano among other astonishing performers.
This year’s theme is Lies. Big Lies, Lies on top of Lies, Lies inside of Lies. So I begin with my spin on Trump’s claims. I dig under his words to reveal what he REALLY means … “I’m trying to make Armageddon GREAT again!” And I go from there.
Last year’s theme was Warm/Hunger. Say it three times fast to hear “Warmonger.” My poem “Deluxe Damage” obliquely points out the correlation between the destruction of all that is good and human by the arms manufacturers and the ability of their CEO’s to live in spectacular comfort in their smoldering wreckage of the planet.
Deluxe Damage by Linda J. Albertano
The CEO of a luxury death-machine sits
on a luxury lily-pad in a luxury lily-pond.
He’s green and preening
(knee-deep, knee-deep). Watching
icecaps melt in his premium whisky. Watching
polar bears dance on the point of a pin.
And sweaty. Fire, flood and famine
fill his oily black planet. He’s hungry.
An unwary human towing wife and kiddies
suddenly snags his attention.
Thip! Thip! Thip, thip, thip! Five quick flicks
of his flypaper tongue.
Collateral damage complete.
Happy hunting, Warmhunger. You’ll bomb us all
back to the stone age.
Dancers (from Louise Reichlin, LA Choreographers and Dancers) Arlondriah (Lonnie) Lenyea, Heather Rabun, and Glenn Rodriguez