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According to the great artist Marcel Duchamp, art and life are processes of random chance and willful choice. – I couldn’t agree more!

About the Dede Puppets

The Dede puppets are a bunch of No Bodies. They were conceived as puppet heads only, collated from snippets of the real world. It didn’t take them long to develop a life of their own. And when my friend Rae donated 12 identical black robes (which they have to share) they became some body.

Their characters are based on my general observations. I love people, I don’t want to change anyone, but I want to instigate reflection… I observe, and what I see is weaved into the Dede relationships. We evolve together,  and they constantly surprise me. I am curious what will happen next. Watch their milestones… I am sure there is more to come!

About Me

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I am a German born artist living in New Zealand. Though I am a very private person, the puppets somehow managed to teased me out into the public. For me, they are the ultimate vehicle to make social comments. My name is not Dede as some readers have assumed, but Dietlind Wagner. The name Dede for the puppets is derived from DADA, an art movement (or better anti-art movement, as they wished to be seen back then) I am in awe of. As the word DADA was taken, the next vowel is e, therefore Dede.

I do other art apart from the Dedes and you can read more about me on the Dedelive.com webpage or follow the Instagram beyond_the_dedes.

From Dada to Dede

I don’t want to launch into a comprehensive scholarly piece about the connection between DADA and my Dede puppets. As I am German, of course I have been influenced by DADA. My Dedes are one of the many branches that have sprung from the movement that was alive between the two World Wars. It all started a hundred years ago – in 1916, . From the very first time I heard DADA  mentioned (I must have been around eight) I was intrigued and it stayed with me ever since. Without sounding too pompous: the Dedes are the “heir apparent” in a matchbox. They are visual collages, they tell stories, they perform and most importantly, they might appear nonsensical. Just like original Dada art, though a bit more whimsical. They have a social mandate, but they are a tad too apolitical to ascend the throne. They love to twist meaning, and they are meant to twist.

The Dedes and You

For me personally the Dedes are loaded with significance. They are my “Voodoo dolls gone mellow.” But at the end of the day, art is what the viewer makes of it. Most importantly it should be accessible. If you find something deep and meaningful in it for yourself, I am happy. If you feel unmasked, no need to tell me! Any other comments you want to make are most welcome!

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