Birth of Dadaism
Dada is an artistic movement that was born in Zurich in 1916 and saw among its early adherents intellectuals from different backgrounds united by a desire to reject all values of tradition.
I have already announced to you that 2016 will mark the Dada centennial, and Zurich will obviously be in the spotlight.
The date to remember is February 5.
It was precisely on February 5, 1916 that theater director, writer and philosopher Hugo Ball founded Cabaret Voltaire in Zurich, the theater of Dada evenings.
This date is widely regarded as the official starting date of the Dada movement, which in 2016 celebrates its centenary as Dada and Zurich
Who the Dadaists were and what they did
Hugo Ball picks up a need, which was particularly alive among the young intellectuals, who had found in Zurich a safe place to stay away from the atrocities of World War I.
The hope for a different future, the spirit of freedom, and the struggle against the conventions of the past were the desires of these young people who gathered at the Cabaret Voltaire to offer their musical performances, poetry readings, art exhibitions, lectures, and experimentation with different artistic languages.
One of the main characteristics of Dadaism is to have no agenda, to rebel against all pre-packaged art forms. So from the very beginning Dada evenings had no rules and everything was left to chance.
The protagonists of these evenings were Hugo Ball, Hans Arp, Marcel Janco, Richard Huelsenbeck, Tristan Tzara, Francis Picabia.
Dadaist ideas spread with great rapidity and soon became an international movement and that in New York set the stage for Marcel Duchamp’s ready-made.
Meaning of the term DADA
The term Dada was chosen by chance by Tristan Tzara who, while flipping through a French dictionary, found this expression that the French use to describe a toy.
Tzara called Dada a meaningless word, a pure sound of the mouth.
It was evidently the perfect term to identify an artistic movement whose only rule was the unexpected and random.