Going Gaga over Dada – Zurich celebrates the centenary of Dadaism

A hotbed of revolutionaries, artistic zeitgeist and anti-colonial resistance… Not quite what springs to mind when you think of Zurich, is it? The quiet Swiss city has always had a reputation for being a little too… sensible: a place for suits and sobriety, rather than absinthe and anarchy. 2016 is set to turn that impression on its head, however, as the city launches 165 days of celebrations to mark the centenary of the Dadaist art movement – one day for each of the founding Dadaists.

Founded in Zurich’s Old Town in the midst of the First World War, Dadaism was a movement which swept the world, made up of creative exiles, writers and intellectuals. With roots in cubism and abstraction, Dadaism caused a seismic shift in the art world with its surreal paintings, collages, poems and more, rejecting the fabric of modern-day society. Scorned by the traditional art movement, the Dadaists are said to have laid the very foundations for the postmodern art world.

Hannah Höch. German, 1889-1978 Cut with the Kitchen Knife through the Last Weimar Beer-Belly Cultural Epoch in Germany (Schnitt mit dem Küchenmesser durch die letzte Weimarer Bierbauchkulturepoche Deutschlands). 1919-1920 Photomontage and collage with watercolor, 44 7/8 x 35 7/16” (114 x 90 cm) Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Nationalgalerie © 2006 Bildarchiv Preussischer Kulturbesitz, Berlin, © 2006 Hannah Höch / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, photo: Jörg P. Anders, Berlin

Fast-forward one hundred years, and the birthplace of Dadaism is set to take back its revolutionary crown. The Cabaret Voltaire, once centre stage for the avant-garde movement, will once again find itself the focus of the art world. Kicking off on February 5th, every dawn there will be a blessing for a different Dada artist, whilst every evening will see a celebratory performance: a gathering of artists and musicians to honour the work of those gone before them. Throughout, the Obsession Dada exhibition will showcase the evolution of the movement from its spiritual home through the archives of Harald Seeman.

Step in the very funky new Marktgasse Hotel, located just a few doors down from the Cabaret Voltaire, which will be offering its guests special access to events throughout the celebrations and will also be setting up its very own Dada themed library for guests who want to swot up.

Marktgasse Hotel Generous_print

Sound a bit intense? Take a breather: Zurich has plenty more to fill a weekend away, from strolling the quaint cobbled streets of the Old Town to indulging your sweet tooth in the 176-year-old Sprüngli chocolatier – a local institution. Zurich’s answer to Shoreditch, Zurich West, is a vibrant, multicultural neighbourhood fizzing with activity, whilst the vast expanse of Lake Zurich offers an altogether more chilled out experience – perfect for a long afternoon walk.

Zurich, General View (Icon)

The Marktgasse Hotel ‘Ga Ga for Dada’ package is valid from 5 February to 15 May and priced from CHF 730 for two nights and offers complimentary entrance to the Cabaret Voltaire including the Offizium at 6.30am, the evening performance and the “Obsession Dada” exhibition, a ticket to “Dadaglobe Reconstructed” in the Kunsthaus Zurich, daily breakfast at delish, a welcome cocktail and unlimited access to the Fitnesspark Hammam Münstergasse spa. To book call +41 44 266 10 10  or email info@marktgassehotel.ch.