Mary Corey March


Interactive Mixed Media Performance Installation. Materials include: 18 red laser etched wooden and cardboard cards (2.75” 2.7”), 92 laser etched brown cardboard media cards (2.75” 2.7”). table, (24" diameter, 40" high). (2016)

#DadaTarot was created for the 100th anniversary of Dada, and specifically "Dada Here and Now".

#DadaTaroT uses a scattering of arbitrary media images that jumped out in the moment as somehow iconic and sets them against more standardized icons within a kind of “Tarot” format.

During the performance, participants are asked to interpret a random selection of the cards (one red symbol card and three tan media cards) and give a “reading” to another participant. Then the participants change roles. The performer acts as a Barker- someone to draw the viewer in and officiate the readings between participants, but also to cast doubt on the integrity of the process with a showman's style. Throughout this the artist-as-barker documents the questions and answers in loose, sloppy handwriting (up for interpretation) and photographs the cards with each participant who asked the question (hands or face by their choice).

The original Dadaists found absurdity in humanity’s constant belief in meaning within the world, and often created art with games of chance to highlight the random nature of life. The idea of Tarot is a perfect marriage of the symbols in which we can find meaning and a random dealing of the deck. Is there real meaning in the cards, or is it that when we look for meaning hard enough we can find it anywhere?

What the process tells us most about in the end is ourselves. We tell the story that is inside each of us. When we hear another person tell a story about us, we are compelled to decide what is “right” and “wrong” about it, creating another layer of storytelling. The value is not in the randomness, or the symbols, but in the mirror to ourselves.

The piece was performed by the artist (Mary March) as well as Magenta Brooks with some assistance by Elise March (the artist's daughter).