Genesis Dada

Genesis Dada

100 Years of Dada Zurich

Dada’s big bang in Zürich 1916: the full story.



Title Information

Edied by Arp Museum Bahnhof Rolandseck, Remagen, in collaboration with Cabaret Voltaire, Zürich

1st edition

, 2016


248 pages, 143 color and 23 b/w illustrations

19 x 26 cm

ISBN 978-3-85881-767-9


Dada began on February 5, 1916, when Hugo Ball, Emmy Hennings, and others launched the Cabaret Voltaire in Zurich. Cabaret Voltaire would eventually become the stuff of legend, joined by the short-lived but no less significant Gallery Dada. Even as Dada spread throughout Europe and the world, its heart was always in Zurich.

This book honors the centennial of Dada by telling for the first time the full story of its genesis and the role played by Zurich and its vibrant community of artists in its creation and flourishing. It sets the early years of Dada firmly in the city’s historical and cultural context and reveals the intellectual and social background that were crucial to the fermenting artistic ideas that culminated in Dada. It goes on to trace the explosion of Dada into a worldwide phenomenon that took in such artists and intellectuals as Joan Miró, Marcel Duchamp, Jean Cocteau, and Man Ray.

Richly illustrated, this book will stand as the definitive account of the origins of Dada and its little-considered ties to one particular, spectacular city.


The book is published in conjunction with an exhibition at Arp Museum Bahnhof Rolandseck, Remagen (14 February to 10 July 2016):


Deutsche Ausgabe

Authors & Editors

Astrid von Asten

 is an art historian and curator at Arp Museum Bahnhof Rolandseck in Remagen.

Tobias Ballweg

 is a psychologist and scholar of philosophy, working as a psychotherapist at Sanatorium Kilchberg near Zurich.

Nicola Behrens

 works as a reseacher at the city of Zurich's municipial archive.

Friedrich Kurt Benndorf

 (1871–1945) was a poet and musicologist and keeper of the music collection at the Saxonian royal library in Dresden.

Tobia Bezzola

, born 1961, is Director of Museum Folkwang in Essen. He graduated in philosophy and art history from University of Zürich and was a curator at Kunsthaus Zürich 1995–2013.

Hannes Böhringer

, born 1948, is a philosopher with a focus on the philosophy of art. Professor of philosophy at the Braunschweig University of Art since 1995.

Tanja Buchholz

 is a scholar of art history and has carried out extensive reserach on Jean Arp and Sophie Taeuber-Arp.

Katja Cattapan

 is a psychiatrist and deputy Medical Director of Sanatorium Kilchberg near Zurich.

Hayat Erdogan

 is a research assistant and lecturer in the department of performing arts at Zurich University of the Arts ZHdK.

Jürgen Häusler

is a sociologist and a Professor of Stategic Busines Communications at University of Leipzig.

Oliver Kornhoff

 is a scholar of art history and Director of Arp Museums Bahnhof Rolandseck in Remagen.

Sylvie Kyeck

 is an art historian and curator of the Genesis Dada exhibition.

Jutta Mattern

 is curator for contemporary art at Arp Museum Bahnhof Rolandseck in Remagen.

Dieter Mersch

 read mathematics and philosophy at Universiy of Cologne, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, and Technische Universität Darmstadt . He taught mathematical economics at University of Cologne and media studies at University of Potsdam and has been appointed head of the Institute for Theory (ith) at Zurich University of the Arts ZHdK in 2013.

Raimund Meyer

, born 1954, studied German literature and linguistics and history at University of Zurrich, where he works as a school teacher. He is a Dada expert and has been a collaborator in and contributor to various exhibition projects and publications on Dadaism, including Dada in Zürich and Dadaglobal at Kunsthaus Zürich.

Adrian Notz

, warden, prophet, and historian of Dadaism, working at Zurich's Cabaret Voltaire of which he was appointed director in 2012.

Robert Pfaller

, birn 1962, is a philosopher lecturing at Technische Universität and University of Applied Arts in Vienna, and at Kunstuniversität Linz.

Eric Robertson

, born 1965, is a Professor of Modern French Literary and Visual Culture at Royal Holloway, University of London. He has written extensively on Dada, including the prize-winning monograph on Jean Arp, Arp: Poet, Painter, Sculptor.

Juri Steiner

, born 1969, studied art history, German literature, and philosophy at University of Zürich. He lives and works is a freelance publicist and curator in Switzerland. He was Director of Zentrum Paul Klee in Bern 2006–10.

Mona de Weerdt

 has been a research assistant at University of Bern's Institute of Theatre Studies 2012-15. She currently pursues the Monte Dada reserach project on the heritage of dance culture.

Stefan Zweifel

, born 1967, lives and works as a philosopher, writer, and freelance curator in Zurich.