12 June 1916

What we call dada is a farce of nothingness in which all higher questions are involved; a gladiator's gesture, a play with shabby leftovers, the death warrant of posturing morality and abundance. The dadaist loves the extraordinary and the absurd. He knows that life asserts itself in contradiction, and that his age aims at the destruction of generosity as no other age has ever done before. he therefor welcomes any kind of mask. Any game of hide-and-seek, with its inherent power to deceive. In the midst of the enormous unnaturalness, the direct and the primitive seem incredible to him. As the bankruptcy of ideas has stripped the human image down to its innermost layers, instincts and backgrounds are emerging in a pathological way. As no art, politics, or knowledge seems able to hold back this flood, the only thing left is the joke and the bloody pose.

Hugo Ball, Die Flucht aus der Zeit

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