The Theater: Battle of the Nihilists

When the Dada retrospective show first opened at a Paris Left Bank gallery, the spirit of the good old days was sadly lacking. The show did not take place in a cellar with the lights turned out. Nobody ate matches, meowed or loudly counted the pearls of visiting dowagers. No Dadaist proclaimed to the public: "Before going down among you to pull out your decaying teeth, before shellacking you with passion, we warn you: we are murderers." There weren't even any fights.

Dada, the yeasty nihilistic movement of post-World War I days, seemed tired...

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