New chapbook: Johannes Baader – Fifi

Johannes Baader - FifiNew Sea Urchin chapbook:

Johannes Baader – Fifi

Johannes Baader (1875-1955) grew up in Stuttgart and studied architecture in that town from 1898 to 1899. After having met Raoul Hausmann, Baader moved to Berlin in 1905, where Hausmann introduced him to a circle of artists that would germinate into Berlin Dada some ten years later. Johannes Baader was a Dadaist by nature. The one and only Oberdada. Idealist, messianic, and mad as a hatter, Baader claimed to be to Christ resurrected and acted accordingly. In 1914 he published his treatise Vierzehn Briefe Christi. Three years later he presided Christus GmbH (Christ Ltd), a society all members of which, Baader explained, automatically became Christ too and as such unfit for military service. Once officially diagnosed with manic depression, Baader used his insanity as a license for even more outrageous behaviour and provocative performances. A scandal, leading to Baader’s arrest, ensued in 1918 when he disrupted a sermon at Berlin Cathedral and insulted the believers and clergymen. Reborn as the Oberdada, president of the universe, Baader took part in the first International Dada Fair of 1920, then worked as a journalist for a while to return to architecture in the early 1940s. The Oberdada died in 1955 at the age of 79 in a home for the elderly in Bavaria.

Johannes Baader’s absurd text Fifi was written about 1923 and has now been published in the series of hand made Sea Urchin chapbooks. The original German text was translated into English by Ben Schot and the accompanying drawing was done by Puck Schot. Edition of 15 copies. Soft eggs for all.