Dada Africa is an exhibition that exhumes the collision between the Dadaists’ preconceived notions of Africa and actual African cultural artifac
PARIS — Following on the heels of the Dada centennial, curator Cécile Debray of the Musée de l’Orangerie, in cooperation with the ethnological Museum Rietberg in Zurich and the Berlinische Galerie, double down on the Discordian pychodelic aspects of Dada with Dada Africa, an exhibition that exhumes the collision between the Dadaists’ preconceived notions of Africa and actual African cultural artifacts.
Concurrent with the appalling butchery of World War I, Hugo Ball and Emmy Hennings’s Cabaret Voltaire opened its doors on February 5th, 1916, and the tumultuous Dada revolt ensued. The cabaret soon became the epitome of bohemianism by rejecting the conventional Western mores described as “civilized” that had led to such blood-soaked discord. Placed within the range of vertiginous possibilities and improbabilities released by the effort to end polite society, Cabaret Voltaire’s mischief club took up the theme of transmigration that they perceived in non-Western systems of thought and creation, leading many avant-garde artists to study and adopt radically different types of artistic production.