To begin with, we should answer the question, what is Dada? Is it mastery? Perfection? Trash?… Well, maybe it’s all of this. Some even stated that it’s not art, they said it was anti-art, for Dadaism was nothing the contemporary art stood for.
Dadaism was conceptualized while first world war and emerged as anti-war art in the beginning of the 20th century, around 1916. The movement started in Zurich and spread all over the world. Amongst all of them, Kurt Schwitters was a famous German artist, living in Hanover. He created montages and collages as well as photomontages.
The Dadaists goal was to make art childlike. They said no to logical thinking and yes to everything paradox. It’s the kind of art, that fits perfectly to the saying: „Is this art, or can I throw it away?“. Considering Dadaism this sentence is very interesting, because the collages were actually made out of “trash”. The artists used diverse material, such as parts of newspapers, wires, pieces of fabrics and other waste.
But that’s not the only thing they did, they also did something you might have heard of before, or maybe not: “readymades”! If not, here’s to tell you: readymades where for instance former objects of use. The most famous readymade was the “fountain”, a urinal that was exhibited.
So, how is this art, you want to know? – The answer is as simple as clever: It depends on the context. In a bathroom, it’s an object of use, while in a gallery, it’s art. That’s the way they were showing off, that they wanted to shock and provoke, as well as to criticise the time they were living in and to rebel against it. Considering all of this, one could state that Dadaism is the beginning of everything we call art now.