George Grosz, Dada-picture, c. 1919
pen & ink, photo & text collage
In this naive babytalk, the Dadaists found an appropriate expression for their nihilism, their disgust at all bourgeois convention and at the warmongering of the politicians. In its combination of onomatopoeic conciseness on the one hand and freedom from interpretable meaning on the other, the term seemed to be a good war-cry in their assault on the traditions of literature and art, as well as on the harmonious order of composition, colour theory and prosody. While the Dadaists could not abolish war, the political power structures, or the class system in society, they could make their point by smashing the formal structure of pictures and poems.
Dadaism, Dietmar Elger