Foreword by Mike Layward, DASH Artistic Director
Flowers in the Dustbin: a language that defies alienation

Properly speaking, any product is Dadaist that is made without influence, unconcerned about public authorities and values as long as the representing object operates against illusions, from its own compulsion to propel forward the disintegration of the present world, obviously in a state of dissolution and metamorphosis, in order to topple the last hierarchical residues of thought and perception. The past is important and authoritative only insofar as its cult has to be fought against.Herzfelde, ‘Introduction’ from the catalogue of the Dada-Fair 1920.

What if the Dada movement had started in 2020, during lockdown? What would they have done? Is our modern milieux a timelier moment to resurrect the spirit and essence of Dada? We say yes!

What if 31 Disabled artists created interventions that appeared in 30 Plus Tate members’ venues on a particular date, 2nd July 2022 – the one hundred and second anniversary of the first international Dada art fair in Berlin, in 1920.

  • You may or may not know that the intervention has happened.

  • There will be an art film based on We are invisible/We are visible released after the event.

  • Nobody will be hurt.

  • Nothing will be damaged.

  • We will remain invisibly visible.

DASH has a long history of producing provocative interventions (M21 and the Awkward Bastards series). We are invisible / We are visible will continue this important thread of Dadaism, Absurdism and Surrealism into the 21st century. Dada is dead. Long live Dada!

Disability Art is the inheritor of the ethics and ideology of Dada. Both movements are born out of political situations of inequality and oppression. At this time, Disabled people are at the forefront of the impacts of so-called austerity. Poverty and exclusion are rife.

As George Grosz said ‘Can we tolerate this state of affairs without taking a stand against it?’. The 31 invisible artists include ‘established’ disabled artists and many of the next generation of younger artists.

DASH - Cultivating spaces for extraordinary artists

DASH is a disabled-led visual arts charity. It creates opportunities for disabled artists to develop their creative practice.

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These opportunities take many forms, from high quality commissions to community- based workshops, the work it creates is centred around its vision and mission.

With a history of work including visual arts, dance, theatre, live arts and festivals in Shropshire since the mid-1990s, DASH became a limited company and registered charity in 2001 and in 2004 secured revenue funding from Arts Council England. In 2009 DASH took the decision to specialise its work in visual arts, while expanding its geographical boundaries.

DASH works with artists, audiences, communities and organisations to challenge inequality and implement change. This work is shown in projects that have challenged perceptions, fostered and mentored new D/deaf, disabled and neurodivergent artists, encouraged professional development and helped to engineer change in the sector.

DASH is an Arts Council England, National Portfolio Organisation, and in 2020 became a member of the Plus Tate Network.

In 2021 DASH was excited to be awarded the prestigious Ampersand Award, allowing the organisation to realise their ambitious winning project: We Are Invisible We Are Visible. This surreal intervention will not only have a massive impact on disability arts but will show that the visual arts institutions are now open and willing to change. dasharts.org

Disability Arts Online (DAO)

Disability Arts Online (DAO) is an arts organisation led by disabled people.

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We occupy a unique global position with our website, social media network, commissioning, partnership work, and vibrant community of disabled creatives. The DAO team is a friendly group of expert individuals who work together to take action for social justice, countering the ‘tragedy model’ that society is so deeply invested in. We exist to serve artists and arts audiences and, in doing so, to enable social change.

Disability Arts Online has a rich history of challenging dominant narratives, championing the development of disability arts and breaking down barriers to arts engagement from a disability-led position. We recognise disability is an intersectional experience. We loudly and proudly nurture an equitable community space for everyone.

Disability Arts Online assists professional development through commissioning, training, showcasing, networking and giving a platform to disabled artists and writers through supporting and encouraging blogging. Ongoing activity in our talent development programme includes a package of support for Associate Artists, Guest Editors and one-to-one support sessions for disabled artists covering a range of topics from project development and budgeting to writing about your work and the history of disability arts.

Disability Arts Online have been delighted to support DASH in editing this Zine and the accompanying website at waiwav.dasharts.org We Are Invisible We Are Visible will hopefully create a step-change in perception and understanding of the importance and value of Disability and Deaf arts within the visual arts sector. disabilityarts.online

The Ampersand Foundation

The Ampersand Foundation was founded in 2011 by businessman, collector, and philanthropist Jack Kirkland to support the visual arts.

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The Ampersand Foundation was founded in 2011 by businessman, collector and philanthropist, Jack Kirkland, to support the visual arts. The Foundation supports high-quality exhibitions and projects, provided they are free to the public at least one day per week. It also supports public collection expansion. The Foundation is focused mainly on supporting institutions and projects within Britain and Northern Ireland.

The Ampersand Award is open to the 48 members of the Plus Tate network. It aims to enable the winning institution to realise its dream project in the form of an exhibition, new commission, public space intervention or any other kind of project.
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Sasha Saben Callaghan

Sasha Saben Callaghan has created the We Are Invisible We Are Visible front cover image.

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She says: “As a disabled artist, my aim is to bring vivid and strange imaginings to life. My collages are a mix of the uncanny and the everyday. Each piece is constructed to challenge the viewer’s assumptions. I want to encourage them to think about difference and see beauty beyond the mainstream. Dadaism is a major influence on my work, so I was delighted to create an image for WAIWAV, featuring the wonderful Hannah Höch, along with a hat tip to Valentine Penrose, Tristan Tzara, Max Ernst and John Heartfield. Long Live Dada! Long Live Dada! Long Live Dada!”