According to The Art Newspaper, the Cabaret Voltaire in Zurich, founded by Hugo Ball and Emmy Hennings and birthplace of the Dada movement exactly a century ago, is looking for $13 million in financial support.
Recently, the Swatch group withdrew its financial support to the institution — around $303,000 per year. And now, the right-wing UDC party wishes to put an end to public grants worth about $318,000 per year — since 2004, the Cabaret has reopened as a cultural space financed by the municipality. But according to the Cabaret’s director Adrian Notz: “It would be good to transform the Cabaret Voltaire into a centre for artists to manage the place and give it a more international dimension. This, however, is only possible if Swiss Life, the building’s owner, is willing to sell.” This does not seem to be on the cards for the insurance group that has made the following reply: “We can understand that (Cabaret Voltaire) is inspiring creative ideas during its centenary year. Nevertheless, we will not be drawn into speculations of this type.”
Is history turning around? In 2002, a project to transform the venue into an upper-end residence roused various reactions. A group claiming neo-Dada origins decided to occupy the space to curb the real-estate project.