H2SO4 Group




From H2SO4 journal, 1924, 0'22". MP3
Voice – Ernest Peshkov
Recorded By – Miguel Molina
Production Date – 2007


A group of writers and painters from Tiflis (Georgia) who called themselves "Dadaists" mounted their first avant-garde demonstration on May 5, 1922 on the occasion of National Poetry Day in Tiflis, where they proclaimed their manifesto and denied the past, declaring themselves "the only true and proper representatives of the present and future of Georgian literature", boycotting a soiree by the Blue Horn group, followers of symbolism. The demonstration ended in scandal and scuffles. Later, in 1924, they launched a magazine called H2SO4 (the name is a reference to the chemical formula for sulphuric acid) in which they published their poems and programmatic statements. What was notable about this magazine was the typographic and pictographic work of many of its poems (heirs of the work by Ilia Zdanevich and the 41st Company in Tiflis), and also the novelty of including the Georgian language in them; where some like Niogol Chachava (poet and editor of the magazine) recommended the creation of new Georgian "graphemes" capable of reflecting the sounds of the industrial city. Their nihilism was carried onto the streets of Tiflis, for instance when Niogol Chachava walked up and down with a necktie fastened to his feet, or when Nikolai Shegeleya began reading poems from the highest tree on one of the main avenues in Tiflis (a gesture which led someone to invite him to make a film of it, initiating his career as a filmmaker). The H2SO4 group published just one issue of this magazine, and a few other handmade publications, although their activities only ceased in 1928. Their members included the writers Simon Chikovani (1894-1966), Niogol Chachava (1902-1974), Pavlo Nozadze (1906-1937), Zhango Gogoberidze (1905-1937), Bidzina Abuladze (1907-1964), Nikolai Shengelaya (1901-1943), Akakii Beliashvili (1903-1961), Shalva Alkhazishvili (1899-1980) and also the illustrators Beno Gordeziani (1894-1975) and Irakli Gamrekeli (1903-1961) . The text included in this track corresponds to a definition by Pavlo Nozadze of the Dada moment which appeared in the magazine H2SO4, with expressions which defined it as "material is chaotic", "the combination of objects", "the maximum of motion (gesture)" and finally as "the terror", precisely what they were producing in the Georgian cultural environment. This Dadaist group was unknown at the time by Dadaists in the West and was only recently recovered. This has led to talk about Russian Dadaism along with the group of Nothingists [Nicevoki] and the 41 Degrees Company.


RELATED RESOURCES:
Russian Futurists from the GLM Collection (1920-1959)
Sound Experiments in The Russian Avant-Garde (1908-1942)