Dadaism or Dada was an artistic and literary movement founded in Zurich in 1916 by Hugo Ball, Emmy Hennings, Tristan Tzara, Richard Huelsenbeck, Marcel Janco and Hans Arp, characterised by a rejection of "conventional" art and art forms - which were often parodied - and bourgeois ideals. Dada had a considerable impact on modern art and on contemporary art.
Essentially, it was a revolt against art on the part of the artists themselves, who rejected the society of their time and its value system. Traditional art forms were therefore used satirically and exaggeratedly.
For their revolt, the actors of this movement chose the deliberately banal-sounding name Dada. Dadaism is the term usually used today for this art movement.
In the artists' sense, the term Dada(ism) stands for total doubt about everything, absolute individualism and the destruction of established ideals and norms. Artistic procedures determined by discipline and social morality were replaced by simple, arbitrary, mostly random actions in image and word.
The Dadaists insisted that Dada(ism) could not be defined. When Dadaism began to consolidate, the Dadaists called for this order to be destroyed again, since that was precisely what they wanted to destroy. This made Dadaism again what it wanted to be: complete anti-art that was unclassifiable. Comparisons with Futurism or Cubism were rejected.
The centres of Dadaism were Zurich, Paris, New York, Cologne, Berlin and Hanover. The Dadaists rejected bourgeois culture and instead sought new forms of expression in art. Thus they strove for a return to childlike naivety and were of the opinion that every human being was an artist.
The basis of Dadaism was chance and the arbitrariness of materials. The Dadaists placed the lecture in the form of the sound poem with musical accompaniment (in the form of soundscapes)
at the centre of their performances. Their artistic means were: Montages, collages.
The Dadaists sometimes combined visual art, music and literature. Surrealism, neorealism and concrete poetry were inspired by the Dadaists.