Open your Mind - so we can use your data’ is a career-spanning retrospective book about the Dutch artist DADARA. Its release will be celebrated in Berlin with an event at CRCLR. The event will include a talk by Dadara, the screening of several Burning Man movies (some of them shown for the first time in Germany), a pop-up exhibition, signing of the book, and music.
Dadara began his artistic career in the early nineties designing flyers and record covers, and doing live-paintings for the then emerging electronic dance scene.
In 1994 German magazine Wiener wrote about Dadara: “Graffiti ist tot, es lebe der Flyer! Die Cartoon-Ausgeburt des Rave ist die neue Kunstform des Underground. Und ein 24jahriger ist ihr Prophet.” And Localizer 1.0, the house and techno book and exhibition from that same year, called Dadara and Jim Avignon “die Könige des gemalten Flyers.”
This early work, as well as projects such as the Dadababy speakers (baby-shaped loudspeakers) and the Greyman Statue of No Liberty (an 8 metres high concrete statue in front of the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam), marked the start of an impressive career as a painter, installation- and performance artist, designer, and cartoonist.
Since the turn of the century, his focus has shifted towards extravagant interactive performance-installations in public space, many of them at the legendary Burning Man event (USA). This includes starting his own bank, being locked up inside a black box in the desert for the whole week while creating a Virtual Reality inside, and creating a religion based on social media.
One of Dadara’s biggest Burning Man projects was Checkpoint Dreamyourtopia, a guarded Border Control Checkpoint experience to enter your own Dreams. After the event it traveled to Berlin, where it was rebuild in Stattbad Wedding in 2009. The Wall that separated Dreams from Reality was spraypainted by a collective of Berlin based street artists before it got smashed with chainsaws and sledgehammers, exactly 20 years after the original Berlin Wall fell.
In times when governments no longer wanted to spend money on art, while spending billions on bailing out banks, Dadara started his own bank - The Exchanghibition Bank. A traveling bank booth, where visitors could exchange their ‘real’ Euros and Dollars for Exchanghibition Banknotes of Zero, Million, Infinite, Karma, Like, or Love. The bank traveled to many places and also visited Berlin in 2013 with exchanges at Platoon Kunsthalle, Kater Holzig, Betahaus, and Pecha Kucha.
“His work is a kind of tweaked mirror which reflects our society, blurring the lines between reality and fantasy. Perhaps a black mirror, but one that has a rainbow at the end of the tunnel.”
Several movies about some of these Burning Man projects will be screened for the first time in Germany during this event, such as “Fall and Rise of the Fools Ark” made in collaboration with British triphop band Lamb, “Like 4 Real” in collaboration with urban dance collective ISH, and “Transformoney 2.0”, which deals with the value of money by drawing on money and gluing it onto the Transformoney Tree.