Dada

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Dada is an art movement which began in 1916 in Zurich, Switzerland. Encompassing all aspects of art including literature, manifestos, theatre and visual arts, the Dadaists strived to create works which rejected the laws and societal values of the time. They described their works as anti-art, and much of it was anarchistic protest, particularly in German Dada which was a response to World War I. Dada is a satirical and anti aesthetic projection of what the artists thought of society. Dada was displayed, like all art, in a variety of scenes. Public gatherings and demonstrations as well as publications of manifestos and writings, and exhibitions of artworks. Art movements such as surrealism and pop art which followed were influenced by Dada.

Dada was a movement which took place all over Europe and North America. In many works it is evident that Dada was infact a response to World War I. This protest illustrated the artist’s beliefs; that the bourgeois interests and lifestyle is what had caused the war. They aimed to disgust the bourgeois and self destructed works which were deemed acceptable. Dadaists were against conformity in art as well as society.

In the year 1916 a group of artists in Zurich began to discuss art and perform in the Cabaret Voltaire, voicing their opinions of disgust about the war. These artists include Hugo Ball, Tristan Tzara, Jean Arp and others.

Marcel Duchamp was a French artists who, while also practicing Dada, also has works which belong to the surrealist movement. Duchamp is considered one of the most important artists of the 20th century, he challenged conventional values about art making processes through his subversive actions. Possibly his most famous work was Fountain, a urinal which he displayed as a portrayal of art in every day life. This work remains thought provoking among society today, as well as in 1917 when it was produced. “This Neo-Dada, which they call New Realism, Pop Art, Assemblage, etc., is an easy way out,...
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