Art History: Dadaism: (1916 - 1924)
Dada began as an anti-art movement, in the sense that it rejected the way art was appreciated and defined in contemporary art scenes. Founded in Zurich, Switzerland, the movement was a response to World War I. It had no unifying aesthetic characteristics but what brought together the Dadaists was that they shared a nihilistic attitude towards the traditional expectations of artists and writers. The word Dada literally means both "hobby horse" and "father", but was chosen at random more for the naive sound. What After finding its origins in Zurich, the Dada movement spread the Berlin, Cologne, Hanover, Paris, some parts of Russia, and New York city.
In Zurich, the movement was centered in Hugo Ballís Cabaret Voltaire, where many of the founding Dadaist gathered to express their ideas. In the United States, Dada found its central location at Alfred Steiglitzís gallery "291" and the studio of the Walter Arensbergs. Neutral during both World Wars, Switzerland was an ideal place for objectors to the war, those avoiding military service, and those who wished to find a place for free expression.
Other elements integral to the Dada movement were the non-attempt to underlie work with any reference to intellectual analysis. Dada was also a reaction the bourgeois Victorian values of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The work was also absurd and playful but at times intuitive and even cryptic. Methods of production were unconventional, employing the chance technique, and found objects. Dadaists rejection of these values was an attempt to make a statement on the social values and cultural trends of a contemporary world facing a devastating period of war.
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