Dada's Birthplace

Like everything in life, Dada is useless," proclaimed the Romanian-born poet Tristan Tzara in 1922, when the subversive art form was in its heyday. Yet nearly a hundred years later, people are still visiting the nerve center of this willfully useless movement. In 1916 the German poet Hugo Ball, who lived in Zurich at the time, opened a café-cum-theater called Cabaret Voltaire, where Tzara, Hans Arp and other nonconformist artists gathered. It was in the Cabaret's upstairs room that the group is said to have decided to find a name as incongruous as their free-form art. They randomly inserted a knife...

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