Galerie Dada, 1916. Photo: Arp Museum Remagen.

Hundred Years Dada

Founded on 5 February 1916 by Hugo Ball, Emmy Hennings, Marcel Janco, Tristan Tzara, and Jean Arp at the Cabaret Voltaire in Zurich, Dada would become one of the central movements in 20th-century art.

The spirit of Dada developed in the interplay between the two contrasting birthplaces in the cosmopolitan atmosphere of Zurich.

A major starting point was the pacifist attitude of Dada. Even the artists who initially were not able to completely evade the omnipresent martial rage, ultimately rejected it and attempted to suppress the events occurring on the other side of the seemingly secure mountain range.

At the same time it was the horrors of war that called everything and art conventions in particular into question. Bourgeois culture and its canon of values became the target of artistic protest.

The Dadaists sought new forms of expression instead, both in the performing and the fine arts. At the legendary soirees in the Cabaret Voltaire, the artists read poems, sang, danced and paid tribute to the anarchic forces of body and soul.

Dada centres developed in Hannover, Berlin and Cologne, Paris and New York, enabling Dada to revolutionise the art world within a brief period of time. (Further information: ( and