Liberty Battson

Dada Data

Dada Data


Inspired by the tongue in cheek and humorous approach in their reaction; Battson started a series dedicated to the Influence of the “laws of chance” that Hans Arp (founder of Dada) incorporated in his work 100 years ago. Arp instilled the necessity to challenge expectations, and to work spontaneously and according to chance. Here she shoots, paints, peals and crushes geometric ready-mades, hereby exploring the boundaries of colour theory. Dada Data mathematically reflects 100 and in so doing celebrates a century of liberation.

“Colour is the essence of painting, which the subject always killed”.

Kazimir Malevich

Malevich was a key source of inspiration with his work “White on White” (1918). In artworks such as "White on White" 1918-2018 and Black Suprematism. Can she even say that? 1918-2018, she deliberately included the three stages he incorporated in his lifetime; Black, Colour and finally White in 1918 (Suprematism). Kandinsky and Malevich were considered pioneers of geometric abstraction who “sought refuge in the square form”. As Battson ventured into 3D sculpture under this premise, she was inspired to recreate forms using their choices.

Dadaist Marcel Duchamp and his revolutionary ‘ready-mades’ inspired the crushing of the Mercedes Benz into a geometric cube in the work "Nelson Mandela’s Mercedes Benz" (2018). This was the exact model of the car given to Nelson Mandela by Mercedes Benz when he was released from prison in 1990. In 2018, South Africa celebrated Mandela’s iconic legacy and her work coincides with the year that would have marked Mandela’s 100th birthday.

"This is sensational-Francis Picabia" is an artwork produced for Battson's Honours year exhibition. This was the artist’s first body of work which used automotive paint; something the artist has become recognised for over the past five years. This is the last work available from the body and she has chosen to include it on show, the relevance to the show is uncanny as we see the destruction (her painting has cracks that run through the centre) and a similarity to Francis Picabia’s work “volucelle”.

The birth of Abstraction celebrated ways of thinking that welcomed the absurd, the humorous, the nonsensical, mixed media assemblage. Dadaists mixed up artistic genres and materials by, using everyday objects (Man Ray) or even rubbish (Schwitters). The intention was to bombard the public with irrelevance and it ironically became one of the most influential movements in art to date.

"Dada Data" featured in the following exhibitions:


Everard Read Cape Town

Dada Data