Experimental film, white specks and shapes gyrating over a black background, a light-striped torso, a gyrating eggcrate. One of the first Dadaist films. —IMDb
Man Ray (1890-1976), painter, photographer, and object maker, was the principal American artist in the Dada movement.
Man Ray was born in Philadelphia, Pa. on August 27, 1890. In 1908 he studied painting at the National Academy of Design in New York City. He made his first abstract painting in 1911 and held his first one-man show in 1912. Before meeting the Dadaist artist Marcel Duchamp in 1915, Ray worked in a quasi-cubist fashion. His oil painting The Rope Dancer Accompanies Herself with Shadows (1916) shows the influence of synthetic cubism in the way forms are put together; but the influence of Duchamp is evident in the concern with movement, as seen in the repetitive positions of the skirts of the dancer.
After 1917, the year that Ray became important in the New York Dada group, he gave up conventional methods of painting. He became an object maker and adopted various mechanical and photographic methods of image making. A 1918 version of the Rope Dancer combined a… read more
The Dadaist movement sought to defy all reason and explanation through absurd and often meaningless imagery, as opposed to the surrealist movement, whose purpose was to emulate a dream state. Man Ray's "La Retour a la Raison" is difficult to give a conventional review because it's essentially a 2 minute collection of meaningless abstractions intended to be anti-art, but as a movement it's fascinating.