Dada or Dadaism is a cultural movement that began in neutral Zürich, Switzerland, during World War I and peaked from 1916 to 1920. The movement primarily involved 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.
- "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, Dada Manifesto, 1918
- "[A] 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).
- "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).
- "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).
- “What we call Dada is a piece of tomfoolery from the void, in which all the lofty questions have become involved . . .”—Hugo Ball
- “Dada means nothing. We want to change the world with nothing.”—Richard Huelsenbeck
- “Art is dead. Long live Dada.”—Walter Serner
- “We do not wish to imitate nature, we do not wish to reproduce. We want to produce. We want to produce the way a plant produces its fruit, not depict. We want to produce directly, not indirectly. Since there is not a trace of abstraction in this art we call it concrete art.”—Hans Arp
- “Dada . . . wants over and over again movement: it sees peace only in dynamism.”—Raoul Hausmann
- “I wish to blur the firm boundaries which we self-certain people tend to delineate around all we can achieve.”—Hannah Hoch
- “Invest your money in Dada! Dada is the only savings bank that pays interest in the hereafter!”—Kurt Schwitters
- “Art has nothing to do with taste. Art is not there to be tasted.”—Max Ernst
- “I have forced myself to contradict myself in order to avoid conforming to my own taste."—Marcel Duchamp
- “Dada talks with you, it is everything, it includes everything, it belongs to all religions, can be neither victory nor defeat, it lives in space and not in time.”—Francis Picabia
- “It’s not Dada that is nonsense—but the essence of our age that is nonsense.”—The Dadaists
- “What is generally termed reality is, to be precise, a frothy nothing.”—Hugo Ball
- "Dada is the sun, Dada is the egg. Dada is the Police of the Police."—Richard Huelsenbeck
- “Leave everything. Leave Dada. Leave your wife. Leave your mistress. Leave your hopes and fears. Leave your children in the woods. Leave the substance for the shadow. Leave your easy life, leave what you are given for the future. Set off on the roads.”—Andre Breton