Styles: Dado's 50th

The stoic banking center of Zurich is the only city in stolid Switzerland that can claim to have fostered an art movement. Ironically, it was dadaism, which purported to prize meaninglessness over meaning. The movement was born one day in 1916 in Zurich's Cabaret Voltaire, where a couple of artistic types flipped open a dictionary and chose the first word that struck their eye.

It was dada, meaning hobbyhorse in French.

The classic dada art work was an ordinary urinal that Marcel Duchamp put in an exhibition and entitled Fountain. It typified the cynical frustration that grew out of World War...

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