The Birth of Dada."Dada" was officially coined as a creative spirit in 1916 at the Cabaret Voltaire, a tiny cafe in the Spiegelgasse district of Zurich, Switzerland…
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Responding to the disasters of World War I and to an emerging modern media and machine culture, Dada artists led a creative revolution that profoundly shaped the course of subsequent art. Dada was a defiantly international movement, the first to self-consciously position itself as an expansive network crossing countries and continents. Born in neutral Zurich and New York, two cities that served as independent points of origin for the movement, Dada rapidly spread to Berlin, Cologne, Hannover, Paris, and beyond.
Dates, places, artists and manifests of the Dada movement.
<p>Dada or Dadaism [French, from dada, child’s word for a horse] Nihilistic movement in the arts that flourished chiefly in France, Switzerland, and Germany from about 1916 to about 1920 [and later -ed.] and that was based on the principles of deliberate irrationality, anarchy, and cynicism and the rejection of laws of beauty and social organization.<br /> The most widely accepted account of the movement’s naming concerns a meeting held in 1916 at Hugo Ball’s Cabaret (Café) Voltaire in Zürich, during which a paper knife inserted into a French-German dictionary pointed to the word dada; this word was seized upon by the group as appropriate for their anti-aesthetic creations and protest activities, which were engendered by disgust for bourgeois values and despair over World War I…</p>
In Eastern Europe the individual national agendas for avant-garde activities were often quite different from those in Western Europe. Primary among these differences was the issue of independent national identity, brought to the fore by the collapse of the Ottoman, Russian and Austro-Hungarian empires…
For the Dadaists, publications served to distinguish and define Dada in the many cities it infiltrated and allowed its major figures to assert their power and position. As Dada took hold in cities throughout Europe, each manifestation was unique, reflecting the city’s own artistic and social climates. Every incarnation of Dada spurred a proliferation of new journals and reviews that announced Dada activities, attracted new members, and further established a Dada program.
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