HomeDadaNovember 10 Dada Seance San Francisco
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Three Rooms Press Presents

A Dada Séance in North Beach, San Francisco

Thurs., November 10: Part of the City Lights Dada World Fair 

Celebrating 100 Years of the Dada Art Movement


Luminaries of the 100-year-old Dada art movement, including Tristan Tzara, Hugo Ball, and Marcel Duchamp, will be conjured “back to life” in galleries and bars of San Francisco’s notorious North Beach neighborhood on Thursday, November 10th during a Dada Séance and Parade hosted by Three Rooms Press, publisher of the the annual MAINTENANT journal of contemporary Dada writing and art.


The event is part of the Dada World Fair, a two-week long celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Dada art movement, organized by City Lights Books. The séance is free and open to the public.


Led by Three Rooms Press co-directors and “mediums” Peter Carlaftes and Kat Georges, the séance begins at 8 pm at City Lights (261 Columbus at Broadway) with the conjuring of Dada manifesto writer and artist Tristan Tzara, embodied by modern day literary luminary and NPR commentator Andrei Codrescu.

The group will move on to Vesuvio bar at 8:20 pm to conjure up Dada poet/pugilist/provocateur Arthur Cravan, embodied by legendary MIT Press editor Roger Conover, accompanied by a wheelbarrow full an English translation of the original insolent MAINTENANT journal, first published by Cravan in 1913.

The séance tour then parades up Grant Street and touches down at Naivasha Gallery (Grant Street at Union) at 8:40 pm, to conjure Hugo (and his) Ball(s), embodied by Conspiracy of Beards member Richard Stone, accompanied by actor/performance artist David Picarello and poet Thomas Stolmar, who will bring an a cappella new twist to Ball’s acclaimed Dada poem “Karawane.”

Festivities move on to Grant’s Tomb Gallery at 50-A Bannam Place at 9 pm, where famed punk artist and collagist Winston Smith will join in to help conjure up the ever-so-irreverent New York Dada persona Baroness Elsa von Freytag Loringhoven embodied by Los Angeles performance artist Linda J Albertano.

The séance tour will proceed back to the renowned Naivasha Gallery where participants will help recreate and deconstruct the iconic photo of celebrated dada artist Marcel Duchamp playing chess with the notorious L.A. icon and writer Eve Babitz, embodied by Doug Knott and Bibiana Padilla Maltos.

Between each venue, the HPTEGSCBMBLA Circuit Bending Marching Band will accompany the séance crowd, led by poet/performance artist Mona Jean Cedar and musician/scientist Jeff Boynton.

Throughout the Dada Worlds Fair, copies of Three Rooms Press’ MAINTENANT: A Journal of Contemporary Writing And Art will be featured and available at City Lights.

Costumes are recommended (“come as you aren’t ”). Participants are encouraged to arrive at City Lights by 8 pm, but are welcome to join in at any of the stops along the way.

For additional information, email info@threeroomspress.com or call Peter at 917-443-1695.

About Three Rooms Press

Three Rooms Press is a fierce New York-based independent publisher inspired by dada, punk, and passion. Founded in 1993, it serves as a leading independent publisher of cut-the-edge creative, including fiction, memoir, poetry translations, drama and art. In addition, Three Rooms Press produces and promotes a variety of literary and cultural events worldwide, including readings, plays, workshops, and concerts. Three Rooms Press books are distributed by PGW / Ingram.

About the MAINTENANT Dada Journal

Maintenant is an annual journal that features the most significant contemporary dada writing and art from around the world. Inspired by the original Maintenant, an irreverent and risk-taking ‘zine published, edited and allegedly written by Arthur Cravan from 1913-1917, the Three Rooms Press editions aim to bring to light cutting-edge poetry and art that stems from this original spirit. Since 2005, Three Rooms Press’ Maintenant has developed an international reputation as a primary source for Dada work by well-known and emerging artists. Recent U.S. contributors include Andrei Codrescu, Charles Plymell, Jerome Rothenberg, Anne Waldman, Roger Conover, S.A. Griffin, Alice Bag, Raymond Pettibon, John M. Bennett, Grant Hart and Jack Hirschman. International contributors from Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, Belgium, France, Spain, Italy, Hungary, Poland, Serbia, Ukraine, Russia, Israel, Palestine, Pakistan, Nigeria, South Africa, India, Australia, Japan and more include Mark Kostabi, Fausto Grossi, Joel Hubaut, Renaat Ramon, Avelino De Araujo, Dobrica Kamperelic, Bartolomé Ferrando, Irene Caesar, and more.

What the heck is Dada?

The original Dada movement peaked from 1916-1922, primarily involved visual arts, literature—poetry, art manifestoes, art theory—theatre, and graphic design, and concentrated its anti-war politics through a rejection of the prevailing standards in art through anti-art cultural works. Its purpose was to ridicule what its participants considered to be the meaninglessness of the modern world. In addition to being anti-war, dada was also anti-bourgeois and anarchist in nature.

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