Tristan Tzara (1896 – 1963) was the manifesto writer for the DADA art movement of the early 1900s which inspired much of modern art.
I know that you have come here today to hear explanations. Well, don’t expect to hear any explanations about Dada. You explain to me why you exist. You haven’t the faintest idea. You will never be able to tell me why you exist but you will always be ready to maintain a serious attitude about life.
Dada is not at all modern. It is more in the nature of a return to an almost Buddhist religion of indifference. Dada is immobility and does not comprehend the passions…but with the same note of conviction I might maintain the contrary.
I love you so, I swear I do adore you.
Nothing is more delightful than to confuse and upset people. The truth is that people love nothing but themselves and their little possessions, their income, their dog.
If one is poor in spirit, one possesses a sure and indomitable intelligence, a savage logic, a point of view that cannot be shaken.
Always destroy what you have in you. On random walks. Then you will be able to understand many things. You are not more intelligent than we, and we are not more intelligent than you.
I consider myself quite charming.
We are well aware that people in the costumes of the Renaissance were pretty much the same as the people of today, and that Zhuangzi was just as Dada as we are.
If I cry out: Ideal, ideal, ideal, Knowledge, knowledge, knowledge, Boomboom, boomboom, boomboom,” I have given a pretty faithful version of progress, law, morality, and all other fine qualities that various highly intelligent men have discussed in so many books, only to conclude that after all, everyone dances to their own personal boomboom.
I am against all systems, the most acceptable system is on principle to have none. To complete oneself, to perfect oneself in one’s own littleness, to fill the vessel with one’s individuality, to have the courage to fight for and against thought, the mystery of bread, the sudden burst of a propeller into lilies…
Here is the great secret: thought is made in the mouth.
I still consider myself very charming.
A great Canadian philosopher has said that thought and the past are also very charming.
To make a Dadaist poem: Take a newspaper. Take a pair of scissors. Cut out words and put them in a bag. Shake, gently. Take out the scraps one after the other. Copy them down. The poem will resemble you.