: left, Le saint des saints c'est de moi qu'il s'agit dans ce portrait
, 1 July 1915; center, Portrait d'une jeune fille americaine dans l'état de nudité
, 5 July 1915; right, J'ai vu et c'est de toi qu'il s'agit, De Zayas! De Zayas! Je suis venu sur les rivages du Pont-Euxin
, New York, 1915
Dada artists, group photograph, 1920, Paris. From left to right, Back row: Louis Aragon, Theodore Fraenkel, Paul Eluard, Clément Pansaers, Emmanuel Fay (cut off).
Second row: Paul Dermée, Philippe Soupault, Georges Ribemont-Dessaignes.
Front row: Tristan Tzara (with monocle), Celine Arnauld, Francis Picabia, André Breton
Cover of the first edition of the publication Dada
, Tristan Tzara
; Zürich, 1917
Developed in reaction to World War I
, the Dada movement consisted of artists who rejected the logic
, and aestheticism
of modern capitalist society
, instead expressing nonsense
, and anti-bourgeois
protest in their works.
The art of the movement spanned visual, literary, and sound media, including collage
, sound poetry
, cut-up writing
, and sculpture. Dadaist artists expressed their discontent toward violence, war, and nationalism, and maintained political affinities with radical left-wing
and far-left politics
There is no consensus on the origin of the movement's name; a common story is that the German artist Richard Huelsenbeck
slid a paper knife
(letter-opener) at random into a dictionary, where it landed on "dada", a colloquial French term for a hobby horse
. Jean Arp
wrote that Tristan Tzara
invented the word at 6 p.m. on 6 February 1916, in the Café de la Terrasse in Zürich.
Others note that it suggests the first words of a child, evoking a childishness and absurdity that appealed to the group. Still others speculate that the word might have been chosen to evoke a similar meaning (or no meaning at all) in any language, reflecting the movement's internationalism
The roots of Dada lie in pre-war avant-garde. The term anti-art
, a precursor to Dada, was coined by Marcel Duchamp
around 1913 to characterize works that challenge accepted definitions of art. Cubism
and the development of collage
and abstract art
would inform the movement's detachment from the constraints of reality and convention. The work of French poets, Italian Futurists
and the German Expressionists
would influence Dada's rejection of the tight correlation between words and meaning.
Works such as Ubu Roi
(1896) by Alfred Jarry
and the ballet Parade
(1916–17) by Erik Satie
would also be characterized as proto-Dadaist works.
The Dada movement's principles were first collected in Hugo Ball
's Dada Manifesto
The Dadaist movement included public gatherings, demonstrations, and publication of art/literary journals
; passionate coverage of art, politics, and culture were topics often discussed in a variety of media. Key figures in the movement included Jean Arp, Johannes Baader
, Hugo Ball
, Marcel Duchamp
, Max Ernst
, Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven
, George Grosz
, Raoul Hausmann
, John Heartfield
, Emmy Hennings
, Hannah Höch
, Richard Huelsenbeck, Francis Picabia
, Man Ray
, Hans Richter
, Kurt Schwitters
, Sophie Taeuber-Arp
, Tristan Tzara, and Beatrice Wood
, among others. The movement influenced later styles like the avant-garde and downtown music
movements, and groups including Surrealism
, nouveau réalisme
, pop art
.[not verified in body]
Illustration for the cover of the periodical Dadaphone
, n. 7, Paris, March 1920
Dada was an informal international movement, with participants in Europe and North America. The beginnings of Dada correspond with the outbreak of World War I. For many participants, the movement was a protest against the bourgeois nationalist
interests, which many Dadaists believed were the root cause of the war, and against the cultural and intellectual conformity—in art and more broadly in society—that corresponded to the war.
Avant-garde circles outside France knew of pre-war Parisian developments. They had seen (or participated in) Cubist exhibitions held at Galeries Dalmau
, Barcelona (1912), Galerie Der Sturm
in Berlin (1912), the Armory Show
in New York (1913), SVU Mánes
in Prague (1914), several Jack of Diamonds
exhibitions in Moscow and at De Moderne Kunstkring [es]
, Amsterdam (between 1911 and 1915). Futurism
developed in response to the work of various artists. Dada subsequently combined these approaches.
Many Dadaists believed that the 'reason' and 'logic' of bourgeois capitalist
society had led people into war. They expressed their rejection of that ideology in artistic expression that appeared to reject logic and embrace chaos
For example, George Grosz
later recalled that his Dadaist art was intended as a protest "against this world of mutual destruction".
According to Hans Richter
Dada was not art: it was "anti-art
Dada represented the opposite of everything which art stood for. Where art was concerned with traditional aesthetics
, Dada ignored aesthetics. If art was to appeal to sensibilities, Dada was intended to offend.
As Hugo Ball
expressed it, "For us, art is not an end in itself ... but it is an opportunity for the true perception and criticism of the times we live in."
A reviewer from the American Art News
stated at the time that "Dada philosophy is the sickest, most paralyzing and most destructive thing that has ever originated from the brain of man." Art historians have described Dada as being, in large part, a "reaction to what many of these artists saw as nothing more than an insane spectacle of collective homicide".
Years later, Dada artists described the movement as "a phenomenon bursting forth in the midst of the postwar economic and moral crisis, a savior, a monster, which would lay waste to everything in its path... [It was] a systematic work of destruction and demoralization... In the end it became nothing but an act of sacrilege."
To quote Dona Budd's The Language of Art Knowledge,
Dada was born out of negative reaction to the horrors of the First World War
. This international movement was begun by a group of artists and poets associated with the Cabaret Voltaire
in Zürich. Dada rejected reason and logic, prizing nonsense, irrationality and intuition. The origin of the name Dada is unclear; some believe that it is a nonsensical word. Others maintain that it originates from the Romanian artists Tristan Tzara's and Marcel Janco's frequent use of the words "da, da," meaning "yes, yes" in the Romanian language. Another theory says that the name "Dada" came during a meeting of the group when a paper knife
stuck into a French–German dictionary happened to point to 'dada', a French word for 'hobbyhorse
The creations of Duchamp, Picabia, Man Ray, and others between 1915 and 1917 eluded the term Dada at the time, and "New York Dada
" came to be seen as a post facto invention of Duchamp. At the outset of the 1920s the term Dada flourished in Europe with the help of Duchamp and Picabia, who had both returned from New York. Notwithstanding, Dadaists such as Tzara and Richter claimed European precedence. Art historian David Hopkins notes:
Ironically, though, Duchamp's late activities in New York, along with the machinations of Picabia, re-cast Dada's history. Dada's European chroniclers—primarily Richter, Tzara, and Huelsenbeck—would eventually become preoccupied with establishing the pre-eminence of Zurich and Berlin at the foundations of Dada, but it proved to be Duchamp who was most strategically brilliant in manipulating the genealogy of this avant-garde formation, deftly turning New York Dada from a late-comer into an originating force.
Dada emerged from a period of artistic and literary movements like Futurism
; centered mainly in Italy, France and Germany respectively, in those years. However, unlike the earlier movements Dada was able to establish a broad base of support, giving rise to a movement that was international in scope. Its adherents were based in cities all over the world including New York, Zürich, Berlin, Paris and others. There were regional differences like an emphasis on literature in Zürich and political protest in Berlin.
Prominent Dadaists published manifestos, but the movement was loosely organized and there was no central hierarchy. On 14 July 1916, Ball originated the seminal manifesto
wrote a second Dada manifesto,
considered important Dada reading, which was published in 1918.
Tzara's manifesto articulated the concept of "Dadaist disgust"—the contradiction implicit in avant-garde works between the criticism and affirmation of modernist reality. In the Dadaist perspective modern art and culture are considered a type of fetishization
where the objects of consumption (including organized systems of thought like philosophy and morality) are chosen, much like a preference for cake or cherries, to fill a void.
The shock and scandal the movement inflamed was deliberate; Dadist magazines were banned and their exhibits closed. Some of the artists even faced imprisonment. These provocations were part of the entertainment but, over time, audiences' expectations eventually outpaced the movement's capacity to deliver. As the artists' well-known "sarcastic laugh" started to come from the audience, the provocations of Dadaists began to lose their impact. Dada was an active movement during years of political turmoil from 1916 when European countries were actively engaged in World War I, the conclusion of which, in 1918, set the stage for a new political order.
There is some disagreement about where Dada originated. The movement is commonly accepted by most art historians and those who lived during this period to have identified with the Cabaret Voltaire
(housed inside the Holländische Meierei
bar in Zürich) co-founded by poet and cabaret
singer Emmy Hennings
and Hugo Ball
Some sources propose a Romanian origin, arguing that Dada was an offshoot of a vibrant artistic tradition that transposed to Switzerland when a group of Jewish modernist
artists, including Tristan Tzara, Marcel Janco
, and Arthur Segal
settled in Zürich. Before World War I, similar art had already existed in Bucharest and other Eastern European cities; it is likely that Dada's catalyst was the arrival in Zürich of artists like Tzara and Janco.
The name Cabaret Voltaire
was a reference to the French philosopher Voltaire
, whose novel Candide
mocked the religious and philosophical dogmas
of the day. Opening night was attended by Ball, Tzara, Jean Arp
, and Janco. These artists along with others like Sophie Taeuber
, Richard Huelsenbeck
and Hans Richter
started putting on performances at the Cabaret Voltaire and using art to express their disgust with the war and the interests that inspired it. Having left Germany and Romania during World War I
, the artists arrived in politically neutral Switzerland. They used abstraction to fight against the social, political, and cultural ideas of that time. They used techniques of shock art
, provocation and "vaudevilleian
excess" were all tools to subvert the conventions they believed had caused the Great War.
The Dadaists believed those ideas to be a byproduct of bourgeois society that was so apathetic it would wage war against itself rather than challenge the status quo
We had lost confidence in our culture. Everything had to be demolished. We would begin again after the tabula rasa
. At the Cabaret Voltaire we began by shocking common sense, public opinion, education, institutions, museums, good taste, in short, the whole prevailing order."
Ball said that Janco's mask and costume designs, inspired by Romanian folk art, made "the horror of our time, the paralyzing background of events" visible.
According to Ball, performances were accompanied by a "balalaika orchestra playing delightful folk-songs". Influenced by African music
, arrhythmic drumming and jazz were common at Dada gatherings.
After the cabaret closed down, Dada activities moved on to a new gallery, and Hugo Ball
left for Bern. Tzara began a relentless campaign to spread Dada ideas. He bombarded French and Italian artists and writers with letters, and soon emerged as the Dada leader and master strategist. The Cabaret Voltaire re-opened, and is still in the same place at the Spiegelgasse 1 in the Niederdorf.
Zürich Dada, with Tzara at the helm, published the art and literature review Dada beginning in July 1917, with five editions from Zürich and the final two from Paris.
After the fighting of the First World War had ended in the armistice of November 1918, most of the Zürich Dadaists returned to their home countries, and some began Dada activities in other cities. Others, such as the Swiss native Sophie Taeuber
, would remain in Zürich into the 1920s.
Cover of Anna Blume, Dichtungen, 1919
"Berlin was a city of tightened stomachers, of mounting, thundering hunger, where hidden rage was transformed into a boundless money lust, and men's minds were concentrating more and more on questions of naked existence... Fear was in everybody's bones" – Richard Hülsenbeck
, who helped establish Dada in Berlin, published his manifesto Synthethic Cino of Painting
in 1918 where he attacked Expressionism and the art critics who promoted it. Dada is envisioned in contrast to art forms, such as Expressionism, that appeal to viewers' emotional states: "the exploitation of so-called echoes of the soul". In Hausmann's conception of Dada, new techniques of creating art would open doors to explore new artistic impulses. Fragmented use of real world stimuli allowed an expression of reality that was radically different from other forms of art:
A child's discarded doll or a brightly colored rag are more necessary expressions than those of some ass who seeks to immortalize himself in oils in finite parlors.
The groups in Germany were not as strongly anti-art
as other groups. Their activity and art were more political and social, with corrosive manifestos
and propaganda, satire, public demonstrations and overt political activities. The intensely political and war-torn environment of Berlin had a dramatic impact on the ideas of Berlin Dadaists. Conversely, New York's geographic distance from the war spawned its more theoretically-driven, less political nature.
According to Hans Richter
, a Dadaist who was in Berlin yet “aloof from active participation in Berlin Dada”, several distinguishing characteristics of the Dada movement there included: “its political element and its technical discoveries in painting and literature”; “inexhaustible energy”; “mental freedom which included the abolition of everything”; and “members intoxicated with their own power in a way that had no relation to the real world”, who would “turn their rebelliousness even against each other”.
In February 1918, while the Great War was approaching its climax, Huelsenbeck gave his first Dada speech in Berlin, and he produced a Dada manifesto later in the year. Following the October Revolution
, by then out of the war, Hannah Höch
and George Grosz
used Dada to express communist sympathies. Grosz, together with John Heartfield
, Höch and Hausmann developed the technique
during this period. Johannes Baader
, the uninhibited Oberdada, was the “crowbar” of the Berlin movement's direct action
according to Hans Richter
and is credited with creating the first giant collages, according to Raoul Hausmann
After the war, the artists published a series of short-lived political magazines and held the First International Dada Fair
, 'the greatest project yet conceived by the Berlin Dadaists', in the summer of 1920.
As well as work by the main members of Berlin Dada – Grosz, Raoul Hausmann
, Hannah Höch
, Johannes Baader
, Huelsenbeck and Heartfield – the exhibition also included the work of Otto Dix
, Francis Picabia
, Jean Arp, Max Ernst
, Rudolf Schlichter
, Johannes Baargeld
In all, over 200 works were exhibited, surrounded by incendiary slogans, some of which also ended up written on the walls of the Nazi's Entartete Kunst
exhibition in 1937. Despite high ticket prices, the exhibition lost money, with only one recorded sale.
, Ernst, Baargeld, and Arp launched a controversial Dada exhibition in 1920 which focused on nonsense and anti-bourgeois sentiments. Cologne's Early Spring Exhibition was set up in a pub, and required that participants walk past urinals while being read lewd poetry by a woman in a communion
dress. The police closed the exhibition on grounds of obscenity, but it was re-opened when the charges were dropped.
The New Yorkers, though not particularly organized, called their activities Dada,
but they did not issue manifestos. They issued challenges to art and culture through publications such as The Blind Man
, and New York Dada
in which they criticized the traditionalist basis for museum
art. New York Dada lacked the disillusionment of European Dada and was instead driven by a sense of irony and humor. In his book Adventures in the arts: informal chapters on painters, vaudeville and poets Marsden Hartley
included an essay on "The Importance of Being 'Dada'
During this time Duchamp began exhibiting "readymades
" (everyday objects found or purchased and declared art) such as a bottle rack, and was active in the Society of Independent Artists
. In 1917 he submitted the now famous Fountain
, a urinal signed R. Mutt, to the Society of Independent Artists exhibition but they rejected the piece. First an object of scorn within the arts community, the Fountain
has since become almost canonized by some
as one of the most recognizable modernist works of sculpture. Art world experts polled by the sponsors of the 2004 Turner Prize
, Gordon's gin, voted it "the most influential work of modern art".
As recent scholarship documents, the work is still controversial. Duchamp indicated in a 1917 letter to his sister that a female friend was centrally involved in the conception of this work: "One of my female friends who had adopted the pseudonym Richard Mutt sent me a porcelain urinal as a sculpture."
The piece is in line with the scatological aesthetics of Duchamp's neighbour, the Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven
In an attempt to "pay homage to the spirit of Dada" a performance artist named Pierre Pinoncelli
made a crack in a replica of The Fountain
with a hammer in January 2006; he also urinated on it in 1993.
Picabia's travels tied New York, Zürich and Paris groups together during the Dadaist period. For seven years he also published the Dada periodical 391
in Barcelona, New York City, Zürich, and Paris from 1917 through 1924.
By 1921, most of the original players moved to Paris where Dada had experienced its last major incarnation.
, c. 1921–22, Rencontre dans la porte tournante
, published on the cover of Der Sturm
, Volume 13, Number 3, 5 March 1922
Man Ray, c. 1921–22, Dessin (Drawing), published on page 43 of Der Sturm, Volume 13, Number 3, 5 March 1922
Paris had arguably been the classical music capital of the world since the advent of musical Impressionism in the late 19th century. One of its practitioners, Erik Satie
, collaborated with Picasso
in a mad, scandalous ballet called Parade
. First performed by the Ballets Russes
in 1917, it succeeded in creating a scandal but in a different way than Stravinsky's Le Sacre du printemps
had done almost five years earlier. This was a ballet that was clearly parodying itself, something traditional ballet patrons would obviously have serious issues with.
Dada in Paris surged in 1920 when many of the originators converged there. Inspired by Tzara, Paris Dada soon issued manifestos, organized demonstrations, staged performances and produced a number of journals (the final two editions of Dada
, Le Cannibale
, and Littérature
featured Dada in several editions.)
The first introduction of Dada artwork to the Parisian public was at the Salon des Indépendants
in 1921. Jean Crotti
exhibited works associated with Dada including a work entitled, Explicatif
bearing the word Tabu
. In the same year Tzara staged his Dadaist play The Gas Heart
to howls of derision from the audience. When it was re-staged in 1923 in a more professional production, the play provoked a theatre riot (initiated by André Breton
) that heralded the split within the movement that was to produce Surrealism
. Tzara's last attempt at a Dadaist drama was his "ironic tragedy
" Handkerchief of Clouds
In the Netherlands the Dada movement centered mainly around Theo van Doesburg
, best known for establishing the De Stijl
movement and magazine of the same name. Van Doesburg mainly focused on poetry, and included poems from many well-known Dada writers in De Stijl
such as Hugo Ball
, Hans Arp
and Kurt Schwitters
. Van Doesburg and Thijs Rinsema [nl]
and artist in Drachten
) became friends of Schwitters, and together they organized the so-called Dutch Dada campaign
in 1923, where van Doesburg promoted a leaflet about Dada (entitled What is Dada?
), Schwitters read his poems, Vilmos Huszár
demonstrated a mechanical dancing doll and Nelly van Doesburg (Theo's wife), played avant-garde
compositions on piano.
A Bonset sound-poem, "Passing troop", 1916
Van Doesburg wrote Dada poetry himself in De Stijl
, although under a pseudonym, I.K. Bonset, which was only revealed after his death in 1931. 'Together' with I.K. Bonset, he also published a short-lived Dutch
Dada magazine called Mécano
(1922–3). Another Dutchman identified by K. Schippers
in his study of the movement in the Netherlands
was the Groningen
typographer H. N. Werkman
, who was in touch with van Doesburg and Schwitters while editing his own magazine, The Next Call
(1923–6). Two more artists mentioned by Schippers were German-born and eventually settled in the Netherlands. These were Otto van Rees, who had taken part in the liminal exhibitions at the Café Voltaire in Zürich, and Paul Citroen
Though Dada itself was unknown in Georgia
until at least 1920, from 1917 until 1921 a group of poets called themselves "41st Degree" (referring both to the latitude of Tbilisi
, Georgia and to the temperature of a high fever) organized along Dadaist lines. The most important figure in this group was Iliazd
, whose radical typographical designs visually echo the publications of the Dadaists. After his flight to Paris in 1921, he collaborated with Dadaists on publications and events.
The Dada movement in Italy, based in Mantua
, was met with distaste and failed to make a significant impact in the world of art. It published a magazine for a short time and held an exhibition in Rome, featuring paintings, quotations from Tristan Tzara, and original epigrams such as "True Dada is against Dada". One member of this group was Julius Evola
, who went on to become an eminent scholar of occultism
, as well as a right-wing philosopher.
Dada, an iconic character from the Ultra Series. His design draws inspiration from the art movement.
In Tsuburaya Productions
's Ultra Series
, an alien named Dada was inspired by the Dadaism movement, with said character first appearing in episode 28 of the 1966 tokusatsu
, its design by character artist Toru Narita
. Dada's design is primarily monochromatic, and features numerous sharp lines and alternating black and white stripes, in reference to the movement and, in particular, to chessboard
patterns. On May 19, 2016, in celebration to the 100 year anniversary of Dadaism in Tokyo, the Ultra Monster was invited to meet the Swiss Ambassador Urs Bucher.
, the Japanese dance-form originating in 1959, can be considered to have direct connections to the spirit of the Dada movement, as Tatsumi Hijikata
, one of Butoh's founders, "was influenced early in his career by Dadaism".
Dada in itself was relatively unknown in Russia, however, avant-garde art was widespread due to the Bolshevik
's revolutionary agenda. The Nichevoki [ru]
, a literary group sharing Dadaist ideals
achieved infamy after one of its members suggested that Vladimir Mayakovsky
should go to the "Pampushka" (Pameatnik Pushkina – Pushkin monument
) on the "Tverbul" (Tverskoy Boulevard
) to clean the shoes of anyone who desired it, after Mayakovsky declared that he was going to cleanse Russian literature.
For more information on Dadaism's influence upon Russian avant-garde art, see the book Russian Dada 1914–1924
solicitation form letter signed by Francis Picabia, Tristan Tzara, Georges Ribemont-Dessaignes, and Walter Serner, c. week of November 8, 1920. This example was sent from Paris to Alfred Vagts in Munich.
Dadists used shock, nihilism
, negativity, paradox
forces and antinomianism
to subvert established traditions in the aftermath of the Great War. Tzara's 1920 manifesto proposed cutting words from a newspaper and randomly selecting fragments to write poetry, a process in which the synchronous universe itself becomes an active agent in creating the art. A poem written using this technique would be a "fruit" of the words that were clipped from the article.
In literary arts Dadaists focused on poetry, particularly the so-called sound poetry invented by Hugo Ball
. Dadaist poems attacked traditional conceptions of poetry, including structure, order, as well as the interplay of sound and the meaning of language. For Dadaists, the existing system by which information is articulated robs language of its dignity. The dismantling of language and poetic conventions are Dadaist attempts to restore language to its purest and most innocent form: "With these sound poem, we wanted to dispense with a language which journalism had made desolate and impossible."
Simultaneous poems (or poèmes simultanés
) were recited by a group of speakers who, collectively, produced a chaotic and confusing set of voices. These poems are considered manifestations of modernity including advertising, technology, and conflict. Unlike movements such as Expressionism, Dadaism did not take a negative view of modernity and the urban life. The chaotic urban and futuristic world is considered natural terrain that opens up new ideas for life and art.
While broadly based, the movement was unstable. By 1924 in Paris, Dada was melding into Surrealism, and artists had gone on to other ideas and movements, including Surrealism
, social realism
and other forms of modernism
. Some theorists argue that Dada was actually the beginning of postmodern art
By the dawn of the Second World War
, many of the European Dadaists had emigrated to the United States. Some (Otto Freundlich
, Walter Serner
) died in death camps under Adolf Hitler
, who actively persecuted the kind of "degenerate art
" that he considered Dada to represent. The movement became less active as post-war optimism led to the development of new movements in art and literature.
At the same time that the Zürich Dadaists were making noise and spectacle at the Cabaret Voltaire
was planning his revolutionary plans for Russia in a nearby apartment. Tom Stoppard
used this coincidence as a premise for his play Travesties
(1974), which includes Tzara, Lenin, and James Joyce
as characters. French writer Dominique Noguez imagined Lenin as a member of the Dada group in his tongue-in-cheek Lénine Dada
The former building of the Cabaret Voltaire fell into disrepair until it was occupied from January to March 2002, by a group proclaiming themselves Neo-Dadaists
, led by Mark Divo
The group included Jan Thieler
, Ingo Giezendanner
, Aiana Calugar, Lennie Lee
, and Dan Jones. After their eviction, the space was turned into a museum dedicated to the history of Dada. The work of Lee and Jones remained on the walls of the new museum.
Several notable retrospectives
have examined the influence of Dada upon art and society. In 1967, a large Dada retrospective was held in Paris. In 2006, the Museum of Modern Art
in New York City mounted a Dada exhibition in partnership with the National Gallery of Art
in Washington D.C. and the Centre Pompidou
in Paris. The LTM label has released a large number of Dada-related sound recordings, including interviews with artists such as Tzara, Picabia, Schwitters, Arp, and Huelsenbeck, and musical repertoire including Satie, Ribemont-Dessaignes, Picabia, and Nelly van Doesburg.
Musician Frank Zappa
was a self-proclaimed Dadaist after learning of the movement:
In the early days, I didn't even know what to call the stuff my life was made of. You can imagine my delight when I discovered that someone in a distant land had the same idea—AND a nice, short name for it.
Art techniques developed
Dadaism also blurred the line between literary and visual arts:
Dada is the groundwork to abstract art and sound poetry, a starting point for performance art, a prelude to postmodernism
, an influence on pop art
, a celebration of antiart to be later embraced for anarcho-political uses in the 1960s and the movement that laid the foundation for Surrealism
The Dadaists imitated the techniques developed during the cubist movement through the pasting of cut pieces of paper items, but extended their art to encompass items such as transportation tickets, maps, plastic wrappers, etc. to portray aspects of life, rather than representing objects viewed as still life. They also invented the “chance collage" technique, involving dropping torn scraps of paper onto a larger sheet and then pasting the pieces wherever they landed.
TO MAKE A DADAIST POEM
Take a newspaper.
Take some scissors.
Choose from this paper an article of the length you want to make your poem.
Cut out the article.
Next carefully cut out each of the words that makes up this article and put them all in a bag.
Next take out each cutting one after the other.
Copy conscientiously in the order in which they left the bag.
The poem will resemble you.
And there you are – an infinitely original author of charming sensibility, even though unappreciated by the vulgar herd.
Raoul Hausmann, ABCD (self-portrait), a photomontage from 1923–24
The Dadaists – the "monteurs" (mechanics) – used scissors and glue rather than paintbrushes and paints to express their views of modern life through images presented by the media. A variation on the collage technique, photomontage utilized actual or reproductions of real photographs printed in the press. In Cologne, Max Ernst
used images from the First World War to illustrate messages of the destruction of war.
were three-dimensional variations of the collage – the assembly of everyday objects to produce meaningful or meaningless (relative to the war) pieces of work including war objects and trash. Objects were nailed, screwed or fastened together in different fashions. Assemblages could be seen in the round or could be hung on a wall.
began to view the manufactured objects of his collection as objects of art, which he called "readymades
". He would add signatures and titles to some, converting them into artwork that he called "readymade aided" or "rectified readymades". Duchamp wrote: "One important characteristic was the short sentence which I occasionally inscribed on the 'readymade.' That sentence, instead of describing the object like a title, was meant to carry the mind of the spectator towards other regions more verbal. Sometimes I would add a graphic detail of presentation which in order to satisfy my craving for alliterations, would be called 'readymade aided.'"
One such example of Duchamp's readymade works is the urinal that was turned onto its back, signed "R. Mutt", titled Fountain
, and submitted to the Society of Independent Artists exhibition that year, though it was not displayed.
- Dragan Aleksić (1901–1958), Yugoslavia
- Louis Aragon (1897–1982), France
- Jean Arp (1886–1966), Germany, France
- Sophie Taeuber-Arp (1889–1943) Switzerland, France
- Johannes Baader (1875–1955) Germany
- Hugo Ball (1886–1927), Germany, Switzerland
- André Breton (1896–1966), France
- John Covert (painter) (1882–1960), US
- Jean Crotti (1878–1958), France
- Otto Dix (1891–1969), Germany
- Theo van Doesburg (1883–1931) Netherlands
- Marcel Duchamp (1887–1968), France
- Suzanne Duchamp (1889–1963), France
- Paul Éluard (1895–1952), France
- Max Ernst (1891–1976), Germany, US
- Julius Evola (1898–1974), Italy
- George Grosz (1893–1959), Germany, France, US
- Raoul Hausmann (1886–1971), Germany
- John Heartfield (1891–1968), Germany, USSR, Czechoslovakia, UK
- Hannah Höch (1889–1978), Germany
- Richard Huelsenbeck (1892–1974), Germany
- Georges Hugnet (1906–1974), France
- Marcel Janco (1895–1984), Romania, Israel
- Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven (1874–1927), Germany, US
- Clément Pansaers (1885–1922), Belgium
- Francis Picabia (1879–1953), France
- Man Ray (1890–1976), France, US
- Georges Ribemont-Dessaignes (1884–1974), France
- Hans Richter, Germany, Switzerland
- Juliette Roche Gleizes (1884–1980), France
- Kurt Schwitters (1887–1948), Germany
- Walter Serner (1889–1942), Austria
- Philippe Soupault (1897–1990), France
- Tristan Tzara (1896–1963), Romania, France
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- 1968: Germany-DADA: An Alphabet of German DADAism on YouTube, Documentary by Universal Education, Presented By Kartes Video Communications, 56 Minutes
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- 2016: Das Prinzip Dada, Documentary by Marina Rumjanzewa [de], Schweizer Radio und Fernsehen (Sternstunde Kunst [de]), 52 Minutes (in German)
- 2016 Dada Art Movement History – "Dada on Tour" on YouTube, Bruno Art Group in collaboration with Cabaret Voltaire & Art Stage Singapore 2016, 27 minutes
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