[artinfo] cabaret voltaire,
Dada Zurich presents Dada East? The Romanians of Cabaret Voltaire
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Sat Sep 16 14:58:41 CEST 2006
The Romanians of Cabaret Voltaire
Dada Est? Românii de la Cabaret Voltaire
Opening:September 20, 2006 6 p.m.
Exhibtion: September 20, 2006 – February 22, 2007
Conference: October 28, 2006
cabaret voltaire, Dada – Zurich
info at cabaretvoltaire.ch
T: +41 43 268 57 20
Artists: Mircea Cantor (RO), Stefan
Constantinescu (RO), Harun Faroki (CZ) and Andrei
Ujica (RO), Ion Grigorescu (RO), Marcel Janco
(RO), Sebastian Moldovan (RO), Ciprian Muresan
(RO), Dan Perjovschi (RO), Lia Perjovschi (RO),
Cristi Pogacean (RO) and Tristan Tzara (RO).
Curator: Adrian Notz in cooperation with Raimund Meyer and Juri Steiner.
Officially, Dada was born on the 5th of February
1916 when Hugo Ball and Emmy Hennings opened the
literary-artistic Cabaret Voltaire in the
restaurant Meierei at Spiegelgasse 1 in Zürich.
In his journal “Flight out of Time“, Hugo Ball
a deputation of four oriental looking
little men appeared, carrying portfolios and
paintings; they kept bowing discreetly. They
introduced themselves: Marcel Janco the painter,
Tristan Tzara, George Janco, and a gentleman
whose name I missed.” These four little men,
still being youngsters – the fourth must have
been Jancos brother Jules – had all been running
away from Romania. Tristan Tzara, this “dompteur
des acrobats", and Marcel Janco, the
well-tempered artistic experimenter would become
an important influence for Dada Zurich.
We can find numerous mental cartographies of the
forerunners and precursors of Dada. However, the
developments in Eastern Europe have gained only
very little attention. It is also the merit of
Tom Sandqvist’s book “Dada East; The Romanians of
Cabaret Voltaire”, published in spring 2006, that
a focus has been set on Romania and that cultural
and historical context, which might have had
particular impact on the activities in Zurich.
Sandqvist also reckons that the relationship to
East European Yiddish tradition was particularly
significant and accordingly influential: all of
the “Romanians of the Cabaret Voltaire",
including Arthur Segal, had been brought up
within Jewish culture and tradition.
In a historical search for traces, the cabaret
voltaire exhibition deals critically with the
artistic and personal context of Tristan Tzara
and Marcel Janco. We interpret the indicators
suggested by Tom Sandqvist, we inquire the
dadaist precondition – and its meaning for the
history of Dada and cabaret voltaire today. We
will refine this historical nucleus of the
exhibition with a little homage to Janco and
Tzara, we will show works which were made by them
in the wake of the Zurich Dada Seasons – and
there is one pearl which has not seen daylight
We also use the indicators as an occasion to
inquire how the topic could be debated in
contemporary context and, even more, to look for
the potential and meaning of “Dada East" for the
cultural scene of Romania. It is today’s
perspective. We want to fin out why people who
are currently engaged in cultural work, are
interested in the dada from the past. This is one
of the main questions which cabaret voltaire
keeps asking and instigating.
The contemporary Romanian artists offer possible answers.
Mircea Cantor and Dan Perjovschi have developed
works especially for the exhibition “Dada East?
The Romanians of Cabaret Voltaire" which reveal
their relationship to Dada and the Romanian
avant-garde. In addition to that, the works by
Stefan Constantinescu, Harun Faroki and Andrei
Ujica, Ion Grigorescu, Sebastian Moldovan,
Ciprian Muresan, Lia Perjovschi and Cristi
Pogacean open new possible perspectives on the
conception of Dada.
With great support of Michael Ilk, Nicolae Tzone,
the Embassy of Romania in Switzerland and the
Romanian Cultural Institute in Bucharest.
Scenography and realization by Kunstumsetzung GmbH, Zurich.
Special thanks to Ion Pop and Tom Sandqvist.
Supported by: The City of Zurich and The Swatch Group.
Sandquist, Tom: Dada East: the Romanians of Cabaret Voltaire
433pp, b/w illus, 23 x 20.5cm. Published: Cambridge MA '06
Sandquist offers a different account of the
origins of Dadaism. Instead of the conventional
view that the movement sprang from a Cabaret
Voltaire literary evening in Zurich in February
1916, he argues that Dada grew out of an already
vibrant artistic tradition in Eastern Europe.
ISBN: 0.262.19507.0 Price: £29.95 hardback
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