The Cabaret Voltaire needs $13 million

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...

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100 years of dada

On 5 February 2016, Dada turned one hundred! This is an opportunity for Art Media Agency to go back to the genesis of this movement that founded contemporary art and to present the events being organised to pay it homage. February 1916. Europe was war-torn. The barbarism sparked by quarrels dating back hundreds of years was causing bloodshed among men, threatening their societies and their ideals. In the press the same thing could be heard every day: a flow of deathly news, barely softened by the worn filter of propaganda. Away from the torment of a war that they had not chosen, a group of adolescents, or rather young adults, chose to turn their backs on the overriding moroseness and horror. They would meet up at the Cabaret Voltaire, set up by director Hugo Ball and his partner Emmy Hennings, a dancer, poet and author. The couple would invite young artists residing in Zurich to take part in shows at their Cabaret, and they all replied present: Tristan Tzara, aged 20 years in 1916, Hans Richter, 28 years, Richard Huelsenbeck, 24 years, Marcel Janco, 21 years, or Jean Arp, the eldest at 30 years. All came from relatively well-off, if not bourgeois backgrounds. They were cultivated but they saw the energy of their youth being sacrificed by this never-ending war. The wastage was something that they did not wish for. On 8 February, Tristan Tzara was leafing through a Larousse dictionary with a paper-cutter, and by chance opened it up at the word “dada”. He was troubled and fascinated by this term close to onomatopoeia – so simple, so childlike, and above all, so universal. For “Dada” designates, in French, a hobbyhorse (literally, or else in the sense of an obsessive idea); in English, it is a term for...

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The Kunsthaus Zurich to show the exhibition “Dadaglobe: Reconstructed”

From 5 February to 1 May 2016, the Kunsthaus Zurich, in Switzerland, will be showing the exhibition “Dadaglobe: Reconstructed”. ‘Dadaglobe’ brings together more than two hundred artworks and texts that were sent to Tristan Tzara in 1921 by artists from all over Europe. This epochal but hitherto unpublished book project is finally being realized to mark the 100th anniversary of Dada’s foundation. The presentation comprises of self-portraits, photomontages and collages, drawings, book page designs, poems and essays as well as manuscripts, printed matter and revealing historical documents. ‘Dadaglobe’ is a survey of the artistic diversity, socio-political relevance and art-historical impact of Dada. With contributions by Hans Arp, André Breton, Max Ernst, Hannah Höch, Sophie Taeuber-Arp and some 30 other artists. The exhibition will also be shown at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, from June...

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Picabia retrospective for 2016 at MoMA

Following rumours, MoMA confirmed on 30 October that they are planning a retrospective of Dadaist Master Francis Picabia for 2016. The retrospective is scheduled to take place November 2016 and will include the work Tableau Rastadada (1920) which the museum acquired at Art Basel in June 2014. Little has been revealed about the exhibition as of yet, but the museum already owns 10 prints, nine paintings, and eight drawings by the French-born painter, poet and leading figure of the Dada movement. Picabia is known for his refusal to be categorised, questioning existing attitudes surrounding the artistic process; however his works are also full of hidden messages and in-jokes. The exhibition is being organised by Anne Umland, a curator of painting and sculpture at MoMA....

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Tate Britain celebrates Kurt Schwitters

London, 29 January 2013, Art Media Agency (AMA). The Tate Britain is organising, from 30 January to 12 May 2013, a retrospective of German artist Kurt Schwitters. The display will encompass 180 works by the Dadaist artist. Schwitters was a perfect illustration of the individualist and anarchist branch of Dada. He is mainly known for his collages, composed of ordinary, everyday things, bus tickets or newspaper pieces, but the retrospective will rather enable visitors to appreciate his talent in figurative painting. Indeed, works on display at the Tate, issued from his last productions, are mostly portraits and landscapes. The curator declares: “He is often seen as this isolated genius. But he was actually a very sociable character. He put huge effort in to trying to make connections when he came to Britain.” Kurt Schwitters was born on 20 June 1887 in Hanover, Germany, and died on 8 January...

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