"Like everything in life, Dada is useless" - Tristan Tzara

1896-1963 Rumanian Poet and member of the Dada Movement

In 1916, he helped founded Zurich Dada scene which included the opening of the Cabaret Voltaire along with Hugo Ball. (He later became the leader of the Paris Dada group.) He first made his mark by reciting poems by others, such as Max Jacob. He was also known to recite simultaneous poems with others including Marcel Janco. From 1917 to 1921 he edited the publication "Dada". Tzara, Francis Picabia and Andre Breton were the Literary leaders of the movement. He is the earliest known user of The Cut-up Technique. Here is a description of his method in the form of a poem:

"To make a Dadaist poem/ Take a newspaper/ Take a pair of scissors/ Choose an article as long as you're planning to make your poem/ Cut out the article./Then cut out each of the words that make up this article and put them in a bag./ Shake it gently/ Then take out the scraps one after the other in the order in which they left the bag./ Copy consciensciously./ The poem will be like you." Tzara

About 1930, he joined his friends in the more constructive activities of Surrealism. See Andre Breton

He wrote a number of interesting documents and manifestos; many of which he read in public. Including:

People who were at one time or another associated with Tzara:


Sources: Tzara, Tristan, "Seven Dada Manifestos and Lampisteries", Calder Publications, London, 1977. Motherwell, Robert "The Dada Painters and Poets: An Anthology", Harvard University Press, 1951 Ball, Hugo, "Flight Out of Time", University of California Press, Berkley, 1996. Last Updated 05.09.04

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