Dadaism (1916-1924)

Dada was born out of a pool of avant-garde painters, poets and filmmakers who flocked to neutral Switzerland before and during WWI.

Influenced by ideas and innovations from several early avant-gardes – Cubism, Futurism, Constructivism, and Expressionism – its output was wildly diverse, ranging from performance art to poetry, photography, sculpture, painting and collage. Dada’s aesthetic, marked by its mockery of materialistic and nationalistic attitudes.

The movement came into being at the Cabaret Voltaire in Zurich in February 1916. The Cabaret was named after the eighteenth century French satirist, Voltaire, whose play Candide mocked the idiocies of his society.

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