Imagine two figures in a landscape. When pointing in the distance one figure says: “that”, and after repeating exactly the same gesture says: “and that.” The other figure is watching the first figure's naked arm, how the wave of blond hair resonates with the distant prairie grass. Beyond that the figures watch what would be a mile of mountain range. “I see,” it says, and then the first figure rests it's arm.
All repetition simultaneously enhances and dissolves meaning. It reveals the distance we take in relation to things, and the effort it takes to give them names. The very act of repetition is often more meaningful than what is repeated. With the sound “da” a child projects meaning into the world. “Dada” is the reflection of the world, a myriad of random possibilities. Explaining Dada, Hugo Ball stated “For us, art is not an end in itself ... but it is an opportunity for the true perception and criticism of the times we live in.” When repetition is translated into tautology, and Dada is formulated as Da & Da, we seem to try to impose some order as we state the same thing twice, hinting at an explicit state of Da, some logical proposition; we remain caught in the gesture. Da is just That, and That could be anything. In relation to the statement of Hugo Ball, Da & Da remains an opportunity for perception and criticism, but allows art to be, in the end, in itself. Da & Da (That & That) brings together five artists who have actively been engaging in the reiterative gesture as described above through their work. Dada, but resisting Dada with utter precision.