of the Dadaismus was an artistic and literary movement, the 1916 in Zurich by Hugo ball, smelling pool of broadcasting corporations Huelsenbeck and Hans Arp was based and by refusal of “conventional” art forms - which were often parodiert - and traditional, civil idealsdistinguished.

Baargeld: Das menschliche Auge und ein Fisch, letzterer versteinert
Baargeld: The human eye and a fish, of the latters

a group of citizens of Berlin Dadaisten developed petrified shortly thereafter (among other things George Grosz, Raoul house man and John Heartfield), which was strongly politically oriented, as well as the hannoverschen Dadaisten over briefly Schwitters,those consciously no clear statements in their art represented. Also in other European states and in the USA there were dadaistische beginnings; these were however less meaning. Only few Dadaisten took up politics for itself, and/or. Philosophy alsoto connect different art forms.

To table of contents

term and beginnings

at that time, then George Grosz said in its Autobiografie, metthe writer Hugo ball some artists of most diverse sections around itself, stung with a Federmesser into a French-German dictionary and remained on the word “dada” (frz. Hobby) hang. From this it is to have designated then the Dadaismus. The version is similar,that Hugo ball and Huelsenbeck in a French-German dictionary looked for and the word “dada” encountered le Roi” for a name for the singer at that time of the Cabarets Voltaire “madame.

Marcel Janco however, even Dadaist, denied this thesis and explained inan interview, history with the measurer and a beautiful fairy tale was only afterwards invented, because it sounds itself better than the less poetic truth. It was probably more probable that an at that time in Zurich available and sufficientlywell-known Haarwaschmittel named “DADA” the suggestion for the naming of the group of artists gave. However it is just as probable that the word “DADA” was inferred from the infant language in France.

The Dadaismus questioned the entire past art , by it their Abstraction or their beauty through e.g. sow-Irish exaggeration to senseless nonsense< b> sansammlungen made, e.g. in nonsense poems. Actually it is often with difficulty and also idly, the “genuine” works of art at that time of the intended more or less senseless “anti-works of art” of the Dadaismus toodifferentiate. Borders between traditional art and trivial culture were exceeded.

From the directions of the expressionism and the Futurismus the Dadaisten distinguished itself, took over however elements like the overcoming of the Gegenständlichkeit. Already 1914 questioned Marcel Duchamp the usual art term,by marking and issuing everyday life articles.

In the course of the 1. World war continued to spread the Dadaismus in completely Europe. Everywhere artist protested by purposeful provocations and alleged Un logic against the war and the authority-national citizen and Künstlertum. Approximatelythe nationalism and the enthusiasm for war represented they positions of the Pazifismus and placed sarkastisch the past absurd values in question, become.

Initial work place of the Dadaisten was the Cabaret Voltaire. It was in the mirror lane 1, in Zurich not far of Lenin exile dwelling, where it to 5. February 1916, in the middle in the 1. World war, based was. Over one year it formed the center of the inhabitants of zurich Dadaisten. There, danced, was sung, spoken, whistled and getrommelt, thus the repertoire that was discussedDadabewegung tries out. After the locking one met in the gallery Dada in the station route.

the separate modes of expression of the arts different artistic disciplines, those destroyed and united modes of expression Dada partially. were anarchisch interconnected: Dance, literature,Music, Kabarett, Rezitation and different areas of the forming art as for example picture, scenery, graphics, collage, assembly.

One of the most important work areas of the Dadaisten were the sound poems. The first sound poem became to 25. July 1917 in the gallery Dadaspecified by Hugo ball. It justified the sound poems with the sentence:“With these clay/tone poems we wanted to do without a language, devastated and impossible became by the journalism. We must us into the deepest Alchemie of the wordwithdraws and even the Alchemie of the word abandoned, in order to retain so to the seal their holiest domain. “

The Dadaisten discovered the coincidence as creative principle. Hans Arp had worked for a long time in his studio on the tent way on a design. Tore up unsatisfiedit the sheet and let the Fetzen flutter on the soil. When its view fell after some time coincidentally the Fetzen, the arrangement surprised it. It possessed the expression, which it had looked for before the whole time. Arpthe principle applied also to its lyric poetry : “Words, key words, sentences, which I particularly selected from daily papers and from advertisements, formed the foundations of my poems for 1917. More frequently I determined also with closed eyes words and sentences… I called thesePoems Arpaden. “

Magazines, handbill, posters developed among other things Meetings, like the international Dada Kunstmesse 1920 in Berlin showed the Pluralität of the movement.

The Dadaismus seemed to die finally into the 20ern of a natural death by lack of interest and left in that Concrete lyric poetry or the Lettrismus influential descendants. Besides go on the Dadaismus the modern performance (see. also Fluxus) and the idea of the ready larva back.


Dada siegt, Plakat, Dada-Köln
Dada triumphs, to poster, Dada Cologne

whether and to what extent the Dadaismus influence upit took, is questionable the forming arts because these show the Unverständigen anyway hardly still whether a sense behind the work of art stands. However the Surrealismus is often called as a successor of the Dadaismus. Also the influence on the music (hit“Is disputed there there there of Trio) - like everything with Dada.

Dada can also as artistic reaction to the vibrations of the time of the 1. World war to be understood. The destruction of all valid values and civil standards by firstA free, irreverent art, was against-placed which should provoke the citizen for example with public insult to world war as well as the cultural emptiness resulting from it.

Regardless of its Dadaismus a niche could create itself and survive until today. It particularly becomes from some Kabarettistenas sarkastische criticism at the art enterprise maintained. Most important representative in the post-war period was Ernst Jandl (of of to to, of Otto Mops).

Also some culture-creative of the modern times avail themselves of dadaistischen ideas, so for example

  • the volume Dada anteportas (Dada before the doors -, which comes like the root of the Dada culture from Switzerland
  • Jonas Odell, that for the British volume“Franz Ferdinand” a music video turned in the Dada style (“Take ME out”)

see also

of quotations

  • “we saying “Dada is must”, but we write “is mash to Dada”… here culture takes place! “ (Friedhelm Kändler)
  • “which we call Dada,a fool play from that is not anything, into which all higher questions are complicated. “(Hugo ball)
  • “who does not lock for the mental reality, richly from it presented. In the depth the ulcers of the rampantly growing reason separate without traceup. Apes and parrots are the largest enemies of the art and the dream. Humans look with their reason for the key, which opens the gate of the life secret. They will never penetrate in such a way into the pfauenfarbigen, infinite areas, in thosethe golden flames reigend embrace themselves. “(Marcel Janco, reminds from Hans Arp)

important Dadaisten


  • Hermann Korte: The Dadaisten.3. Edition. Rowohlt publishing house, Reinbek 2000.ISBN 3-499-50536-3
  • Karl Riha (Hrsg.): Dada totally: Communist manifestos, actions, texts, pictures. Reclam publishing house, Stuttgart 1994. ISBN 3-15-059302-6.
  • DADA Zurich seals, pictures, texts. Ark publishing house, Zurich 1957, Zurich Hamburg 1998. ISBN 3-7160-2249-7
  • pure-hard Meyer among other things: Dada in Zurich andBerlin 1916-1920. Literature between revolution and reaction. Scriptor publishing house, crowning mountain Ts 1973. ISBN 3-589-00031-7
  • Gregor Schröer: „L' kind est mort. Vive DADA! “Avant-garde, anti-art and the tradition of the picture storms. Aisthesis publishing house, Bielefeld 2005. ISBN 3-89528-484-X
  • Dada. 113 poems. Hrsg. by KarlRiha. Berlin: Car brook 2003 (=WAT 477).ISBN 3-8031-2477-8.

Web on the left of


  > German to English > (Machine translated into English)