Dada mock trial of Maurice Barrès  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

The Dada mock trial of Maurice Barrès took place on 13 May 1921. It was a mock prosecution in which right-wing author Maurice Barrès, represented by a dummy, was accused of “crimes against the security of the mind”. This event marked the implosion of Dada and a split in the movement, people like André Breton who took it deadly seriously and people like Francis Picabia and Tristan Tzara who treated it with scorn. Even before the trial, on May 11, Picabia had announced the split: "Maintenant Dada a un tribunal, des avocats, bientôt probablement des gendarmes et un préposé à la guillotine !".

After the trial, Dada in Paris was split into two main groups - Breton's and Tzara's. Breton drifted towards Surrealism and Tzara towards extreme Dada nihilism. Many of the individuals just did their own thing, for example Marcel Duchamp stopped making art and started to play chess for most of the rest of his life.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Dada mock trial of Maurice Barrès" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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