Cabaret Voltaire, Zurich, 31-Aug-2012

Shooting in the rain – A Zurich Dandy Dozen and a bit of Dada

The dandiest of the several dozen that I shot on a rainy day in August anyway.

Above and again below is the Cabaret Voltaire, Zurich’s landmark turn-of-the-last century art house where Dadaism was born during the waning days of World War I. The door was propped open and I walked in, eager to check out and shoot some of the spaces inside, but was quickly sent back out into the rain by a man assembling a scaffold in what looked like a small theatre area. “We’re closed,” he said. His tone reminded me of myself when I used to suffer nicotine withdrawal. “Don’t forget your umbrella.”

So ended my brief tour into the womb of Dada.

According to painter Marcel Janco, a co-founder of the anti-art movement:

We had lost confidence in our culture. Everything had to be demolished. We would begin again after the tabula rasa. At the Cabaret Voltaire we began by shocking common sense, public opinion, education, institutions, museums, good taste, in short, the whole prevailing order.

In spirit not unlike punk rockers in the late 1970s.

After the war ended, Dada left the Cabaret Voltaire and spread to other parts of Europe; I just went back out into the rain. The occasional downpours were a good excuse to not to dig out my DSLR and continue on my quest to one day take decent street shots with a GoPro. A dozen of my favorites from that soggy day are below.

 

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