Dada (or Dadaism) is a cultural movement involving visual arts, literature (poetry, art manifestos, art theory), theater, and graphic design, and concentrated its anti war politic through a rejection of the prevailing standards in art through anti-art cultural works. The movement that began in neutral Zürich, Switzerland, during World War I and peaked from 1916 to 1920.
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- Dada exhibition. Another one! What’s the matter with everyone wanting to make a museum piece out of Dada? Dada was a bomb... can you imagine anyone, around half a century after a bomb explodes, wanting to collect the pieces, sticking it together and displaying it?
- Max Ernst quoted in C.W.E. Bigsby, Dada and Surrealism, ch. 1 (1972)
- "What attracted me to Dadaism was its radicalism: Dadaism was not merely conceived as a new avant-garde artistic tendency; rather, it stood for an outlook on life which expressed a tendency towards total liberation, conjoined with the upsetting of all logic, ethic and aesthetic categories, in the most paradoxical and baffling ways. Having known 'the thrill of awakening', Dadaists proclaimed a 'harsh necessity free from all disciplines or morals', the 'identity between order and disorder, between I and non-I, between affirmation and negation as the radiance of an absolute art', and an 'active kind of simplicity, the incapability of distinguishing any degrees of clarity'. 'What is divine within us' — Tristan Tzara proclaimed — 'is the awakening of an anti-human action.'
- Julius Evola, The Path of Cinnabar: An Intellectual Autobiography (1963), p. 19
- Dada hurts. Dada does not jest, for the reason that it was experienced by revolutionary men and not by philistines who demand that art be a decoration for the mendacity of their own emotions... I am firmly convinced that all art will become dadaistic in the course of time, because from Dada proceeds the perpetual urge for its renovation.
- Richard Huelsenbeck, Trans. in The Dada Painters and Poets: An Anthology, ed. Robert Motherwell (1951). “Dada Lives,” Transition no. 25 (Autumn 1936)
- We, the founders of Dada-movement try to give time its own reflection in the mirror.
- Kurt Schwitters (1923) in first edition of journal Merz
- Every product of disgust capable of becoming a negation of the family is Dada; a protest with the fists of its whole being engaged in destructive action: Dada; knowledge of all the means rejected up until now by the shamefaced sex of comfortable compromise and good manners: Dada; abolition of logic, which is the dance of those impotent to create: Dada; of every social hierarchy and equation set up for the sake of values by our valets: Dada; every object, all objects, sentiments, obscurities, apparitions and the precise clash of parallel lines are weapons for the fight: Dada; abolition of memory: Dada; abolition of archaeology: Dada; abolition of prophets: Dada; abolition of the future: Dada; absolute and unquestionable faith in every god that is the immediate product of spontaneity: Dada; elegant and unprejudiced leap from a harmony to the other sphere; trajectory of a word tossed like a screeching phonograph record; to respect all individuals in their folly of the moment: whether it be serious, fearful, timid, ardent, vigorous, determined, enthusiastic; to divest one's church of every useless cumbersome accessory; to spit out disagreeable or amorous ideas like a luminous waterfall, or coddle them - with the extreme satisfaction that it doesn't matter in the least - with the same intensity in the thicket of one's soul - pure of insects for blood well-born, and gilded with bodies of archangels. Freedom: Dada Dada Dada, a roaring of tense colours, and interlacing of opposites and of all contradictions, grotesques, inconsistencies: LIFE.
- Tristan Tzara (1918) Dada Manifesto
- Dada doubts everything. Dada is an armadillo. Everything is Dada, too. Beware of Dada. Anti-dadaism is a disease: selfkleptomania, man’s normal condition, is Dada. But the real dadas are against Dada.
- Tristan Tzara, repr. In The Dada Painters and Poets, ed. Robert Motherwell (1951). “Dada Manifesto on Feeble Love and Bitter Love,” sct. 7, La Vie des Lettres, no. 4, Paris (1921)