Hey guys. Below are a series of manifestos I had published recently in an online journal, which can be found here:

I am really excited to share these with you as they mean a lot to me personally. I originally submitted these as an essay for one of my university modules looking at the manifesto as a form of creative writing. The essay was followed up by a performance I gave mirroring those given at the Cabaret Voltaire by the Dada artists, where I stood on a table and read out/’performed’ one of these manifestos (much to the other students confusion and fear as I threw bits of paper and pens at them!).

These manifestos are intended as a semi-ironic comment on the Seven Dada Manifestos produced as part of the cultural movement developed in the late 1910s/early 1920s by Tristan Tzara and Jean Arp (among others). I have deliberately experimented with form and style whilst attempting to create something truly original. What I have written is meant as an expression of that originality and does not follow conventional structure or pattern. My experimentation with form, as well as the content of the manifestos themselves seek to subvert the principles of nihilism and destruction found in Dada thought. The Dada negation of art is here subject to perversion; where Dada promotes itself as nothing but “anti-art”, Universalism takes the stance that art is everything.

Universalism is a reflection of some of my own beliefs as to what art is and what should be seen as creatively notable. My only intention is to establish a radically new way of thinking about art as a concept, and write a piece that questions what it means to “create” in the broadest sense of the word.

Art should be about the reaction that it gets, and I hope to show here how a series of manifestos, as pieces of pure creativity, can evoke a reaction as powerful as a work of art.

Never give in. Always create. Be free and beautiful, then fall down and die.

We will catch you.

Ralph Barker


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