What is Dadaism? Video
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Video:What is Dadaism?

with Eva deBoer

Dadaism was a short-lived but highly influential art movement from the early 20th century. This About.com video will give you a brief history of Dadaism.See Transcript

Transcript:What is Dadaism?

Hello, I'm Eva deBoer, an art historian for About.com. Today I'll be talking about Dadaism, or Dada art.

Birth of Dadaism

Dadaism originated in 1916 at Hugo Ball's Cabaret Voltaire in Zurich, Switzerland. The movement began with the release of "The First Dada Manifesto" and lasted for 8 years until it was dissolved in 1924.

Principles of Dadaism

Dadaism was a reactive movement, protesting the brutality and senselessness of the first World War.

Dada art rejected society's idea of what art should be. It sought to be the opposite of art, to be anti-art. Dada artists believed that it was intellect and rationale that had led to World War I. As such, they created meaningless, nonsensical, and irrational art. Although there is no consensus on the origin of the term, "Dada" may come from the French word for "hobby horse," or it may simply be two non-sensical syllables.

Prominent Dada Artists

These are a few key figures, along with some of their most notable work: Hugo Ball, Tristan Tzara, Hans Arp, Kurt Schwitters, Marcel Duchamp, Hannah Hoch, Max Ernst, and Man Ray.

End of Dadaism

Because of how shocking and offensive the public found Dada art, it was widely publicized, and as such spread to other cities in Europe and the United States. By 1924, Dadaism was becoming more acceptable and mainstream, which was completely against what it stood for. At this point Dadaism was dissolved. Many of its artists became involved with other movements, such as Surrealism and Social Realism.

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