By inaugurating the legendary Cabaret Voltaire on February 5, 1916, Hugo Ball, Emmy Hennings, Hans Arp, Tristan Tzara and Marcel Janco founded the most important art movement ever to originate in Zurich: the Zurich Dadaism. From the house at Spiegelgasse 1 Dada started its journey into the world launching an international cultural revolution.
Nearly 90 years later, the tireless efforts of numerous Dada friends have finally cleared the way for a dada-inspired re-dedication of the house: on September 30, 2004, the home of the Dadaist world will once again open its doors under the name of cabaret voltaire, welcoming scientists, school children, art lovers, exhausted shoppers, business people, tourists, socialites and localites alike.
The power of its localisation makes cabaret voltaire an emotionally intense, tourist memorial to the historical Dadaism. At the same time and foremost though, cabaret voltaire is a live cultural centre, where bridges between Dada and the social and cultural movements of today are built.
cabaret voltaire's interdisciplinary approach, its understanding of culture that interacts with everyday city life; art and science immersed in each other, historical reference and actual interventions side by side, and because of the fact that the Dada advancements can originate and be exhibited at the birthplace of the movement, make it stick out among the existing cultural institutions in Zurich.
cabaret voltaire wants
* to document: the gigantic projection area named Dada, still not definitely rationalised, is art-historically re-appraised. In biannual rotations and chiefly centred in the vaulted basement, cabaret voltaire presents documentary/historical exhibitions.
* to transform: a contemporary cultural programme reflects and investigates strategies and principle motifs of the Dadaists and their actuality, making Dada a rich source for the present.
* to experiment: the interdisciplinary programme of cabaret voltaire tackles relevant cultural and society issues, eyes set on the future. The cabaret's shop window, called showcase, displays alternating new installations of young artists, whereas the cabaret voltaire hall itself stages events and performances with changing thematic orientations on a two-month basis.
The events at cabaret voltaire will mostly result from collaborations with external artists, curators and interested circles; admission will basically be free.
Collaborations with other cultural institutions are just as much planned as hoped for, and so are interventions in the spirit of the cabaret voltaire, outside its own premises.