by Monsieur Antipyrine – 1916
DADA is our intensity: it erects inconsequential bayonets and the Sumatral head of German babies; Dada is life with neither bedroom slippers nor parallels; it is against and for unity and definately against the future; we are wise enough to know that our brains are going to become flabby cushions, that our anti-dogmatism is as exclusive as a civil servant, and that we cry liberty but are not free; a severe necessity with entire discipline nor morals and that we spit on humanity.
DADA remains within the framework of European weaknesses, it’s still shit, but from now on we want to shit in different colours so as to adorn the zoo of art with all the flags of all the consulates.
We are circus ringmasters and we can be found whistling amongst the winds of fairgrounds, in convents, prostitutions, theatres, realities, feelings, restaurants, ohoho, bang bang.
We declare that the motor car is a feeling that has cosseted us quite enough in the dilatoriness of its abstractions, as have transatlantic liners, noises and ideas. And while we put on a show of being facile, we are actually searching for the central essence of things, and are pleased if we can hide it; we have no wish to count the windows of the marvellous elite, for DADA doesn’t exist for anyone, and we want everyone to understand this. This is Dada’s balcony, I assure you. From there you can hear all the military marches, and come down cleaving the air like a seraph landing in a public baths to piss and understand the parable.
DADA is neither madness, nor wisdom, nor irony, look at me, dear bourgeois.
Art used to be a game of nuts in May, children would go gathering words that had a final ring, then they would exude, shout out the verse, and dress it up in dolls’ bootees, and the verse became a queen in order to die a little, and the queen became a sardine, and the children ran hither and yon, unseen… Then came the great ambassadors of feeling, who yelled historically in chorus:
Psychology Psychology hee hee
Science Science Science
Long live France
We are not naive
We are successive
We are exclusive
We are not simpletons
and we are perfectly capable of an intelligent discussion.
Be we, DADA, don’t agree with them, for art isn’t serious, I assure you, and if we reveal the crime so as to show that we are learned denunciators, it’s to please you, dear audience, I assure you, and I adore you.