Neo-DADA was initially formed of three prolific artists, Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns and Allan Kaprow. An externalisation of Pop art and DADA ideologies and values but radically innovated to explore the usage of media channels, similarly to other movements around the time of Cold war America. Neo-dada consisted of more of a strategic approach to creating the artwork instead of the spontaneous tendencies of DADA. The works would withhold complex and dynamic narratives, talking you through phase by phase of a historical event but without one single opinion or metaphor, the various ideologies helped the viewer decide what they wanted to.
Juxtaposing the absurdity of propaganda advertising. The viewer is the final aspect of the work, finalizing its meaning. You could almost say the artist has not given a meaning until an audience has theoretically visualized it. 1962 was the year of MOMA’s ‘Art of Assemblage” exhibition, hosting 130 artists and displaying 250 works. The press release discusses the evolution of collage and how it stemmed from the post war world and the distinctive way of forming imagery. They continue by emphasising the pioneering practitioner’s medium with Picassos 1912 work using found material.
Thematically, the use of everyday objects to convey ideas conform to the ideas of historical painters, as quoted by MoMA themselves. (The Art Of Assemblage By Moma 1961: 1) To completely understand the movements within America at the time, one needs to have clarity on historical context and the key facts on the Cold war and the continual pressure of Communism vs Capitalism. Communism comprises of an economy that is controlled only by nationalised productivity all owned by the state and no entrepreneurial industry allowed. However, Capitalism encourages entrepreneurial endeavours and the production of materials and services in privatised by corporations. Throughout the Cold war, there were many events that heightened the tension between the two superpowers. Examples are the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the Vietnam and Korean wars. The construction of nuclear weapons however was the terrifying aspect of culture due to the mass destruction they would cause if initiated.
Collage and assemblage was used here because the historical context during the Cold War was so complex and disparate, many aspects were required in the works for the to broadcast the cultural affairs correctly.