The Parallels of Dada and Punk
The Dada movement is as ill-understood today as when it flourished in relative obscurity-from 1915 to 1921. There is no consensus concerning the very origin of the word "Dada," having been variously explained as the words "yes, yes" in. Rumanian, the early utterings of an infant, or a word that was picked arbitrarily from a French-German dictionary. This confusion is quite fitting, since the essence of the Dada movement was its very essence-lesness; no two Dadaists agreed on its definition since Dada's paradoxical nature defied definition. The Dadaists wrote manifestos against manifestos while belonging to a movement which despised movements. Andre Breton proclaimed ·"There is· no Dada truth. One need only utter a statement for the opposite statement to become Dada." The final line of the first Berlin Dada Manifesto written in 1918 reads "To be against this Manifesto means to be a Dadaist." Dada,.which began in Zurich around 1915 under the influence of Hugo· Ball quickly spread to Berlin, Paris, and New York. An upside-down art movement, Dada reacted against the intolerable atmosphere in which modern man found himself. The Dadaists questioned the morality of art and developed an anarchistic and nihlistic view of art as well as of the world.