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Printed in the May 2010 issue of SwissNews

“In French it means “hobby horse”. In German it means “good-bye”, “Get off my back”, “Be seeing you sometime”. In Romanian: “Yes, indeed, you are right, that’s it. But of course, yes, definitely, right”….The word, gentlemen, is a public concern of the first importance.” -From the dada manifesto read by Hugo Ball at the first public Dada event on July 14, 1916

And with that declaration, Hugo Ball launched one of the most influential and important (anti-) art actions of all time, Dada.

Zurich of 1916 was the gathering place for refugees from war-torn Europe, a place where people came to find peace and stability.  It was also a relatively permissive environment that had a history of accepting the revolutionary ideas of Europe’s disillusioned intellectuals, including Lenin who was preparing his own revolution in 1916.  Therefore, it’s no surprise that artists, political…

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