Previously at the ICA - Films

Abigail Yue Wang, Lepus

100 YE∀ЯS OF DADA: Film is Dead – Long Live Dada: A Short Film Competition

20 May 2016

In order to mark the centenary of Dadaism, London Short Film Festival and Internationale Kurzfilmtage Winterthur ran a Dada-inspired short film competition. Filmmakers and artists were given two months to devise a short film exploring their perception of Dada today.

This is a chance to see how contemporary UK filmmakers interpret the idea of Dada 100 years on, and how the spirit of Dadaism remains relevant in the 21st century as a movement that responds to chaos with chaos.

An overwhelming number of entries were submitted to the competition, which surely reflects just how relevant Dada still is today. The jury, made up of Aline Juchler (Curator, Internationale Kurzfilmtage Winterthur), John Canciani (Artistic Director Internationale Kurzfilmtage Winterthur) and Phillip Illson (Programme Director, London Short Film Festival) were given the tough challenge of whittling down 123 entries to just 15.

Dada was a reaction against the supposed reason and logic of bourgeois capitalist society which had led to the First World War. The original Dadaists rejected logic and embraced chaos and irrationality. When selecting the shortlist, films were chosen for their understanding of how to use this spirit of chaos, reflecting original Dada work while also remaining relevant today. The practice of collage, photomontage and found images, a theme found in many original Dada artworks, stood out in many of the selected films, and the notion of movement and montage is s common theme in these works.

London Short Film Festival alumni feature among the shortlisted works, such as Manchester-based Nick Jordan, who won Best UK Short Film at the first ever LSFF back in 2004, returns here with his film MERZMONGO, as does his sometime collaborator Jacob Cartwright with Arrhytthmia. Not to mention Nicholas Abrahams (known for his collaborative films with Turner Prize winner Jeremy Dellar) who submitted his LSFF-commissioned cat film from this years edition of the festival, a work that perfectly embodies a historical overview of absurdist mock filmmaking with his rediscovery of a lost classic.

The programme also features works by notable artists such as John Smith, Stuart Pound, Paul Bush, Bea Haut, Andrew Kotting and his daughter Eden Kotting.

Across the 15 films, we see a variety of work and filmmaking styles, using collage and comedy, animation and art, all making for a highly inspiring and entertaining programme. The filmmakersjoin us to introduce their film, and the winning film is announced.


  • BOMB BOMB Discontent (Arban Ornelas Severin, 3:22)
  • Defenstration 2015 (Bea Haut, 4:48, screened on 16mm)
  • Inbetween (Holger Mohaupt, 2:00)
  • IT’S ALL IN THE MIND stereo mix, (Eden Kotting, 3:20)
  • Un Chat Andalou (Nick Abrahams, 8:13)
  • Urs For Kurt (Schwitters) (Sean Burn, 2:24)
  • Arrhythmia (Jacob Cartwright, 1:36)
  • MERZMONGO (Nick Jordan, 4:07)
  • Voices Off & On (Stuart Pound, 2:15)
  • Lepus (Abigail Yue Wang, 4:58)
  • Deadens (Mikey Georgeson, 2:20)
  • Combat (Andrew Kotting, 5:34)
  • Frott Age (Ben Fox, 3:25)
  • Steve Hates Fish (John Smith, 5:02)
  • Good Friends (Paul Bush, 1:44)

Multi-buy offer

Buy tickets to both 100 Years of Dada events for £16 (full price), £12 (concessions), £10 (ICA Members)

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