Through the DADA night with Gabriele Stötzer

Through the DADA-night with Gabriele Stötzer


The performance artist Gabriele Stötzer arrived in Zurich at the Slavisches Seminar with a car. But what she brought with her not only not fitted in this car – which was packed by her files about her decade-long surveillance by the Stasi among fascinating photographs of her actions and performances – but filled the whole city of Zurich. As in the course of the celebrations of 100 years of DADA, with Zurich as (one of its) birthplaces, the museum directors and politicians couldn`t stress enough that it was this anti-bourgeois artistic movement of a handful war-refugees, who were constantly insulted by the Fremdenpolizei, that lead to the fame of Zurich in the artworld for now a few weeks more than 100 years.


My collegue at the Slavisches Seminar, Mathias Meindl and Stötzer arrived at the Landesmuseum where I was waiting for my other colleagues (in vain) and we all didn’t know that at 4pm the show is only open for the press. But no such administrative hindrance can hinder Stötzer from entering a DADA-show, so she was convincing the doormen that she was invited by the Slavisches Seminar, by Prof. Sylvia Sasse and they have to let her in. Who could have objected that? So Stötzer was so curious and euphoric that her DADA-mood was swapping over me and although Meindl seemed to be a discrete knight of a former Punk-Band he joined the experience of going through the DADA_festivities in Zurich with Stötzer.


Standing on the bridge before the Central Stötzer made her first spontaneous performance action: standing on the bridge she started to scream towards the snowy crests of the mountains how happy she was to meet them. Decent older citizens of Zurich, walking towards our company silently noticed – “Sie haben aber gute Laune”…and with this Laune we sat at a bar where the culinary mix of Switzerland and Stötzer`s home city Erfurt melted in a strange sandwich with a gelee and asparagus.


When we arrived to the Cabaret Voltaire, the pianist was playing Satie`s piece without an error, we entered from the back, and from the hipster store in the front, drank a Campari Soda and we agreed that this we cannot stand for another few hours so we headed to the Kunsthaus – we witnessed there the last sad remnants of the catering and a few older Zurich citizens trying to grasp them – but Stötzer – as always – first dropped her coat and went straight to the first row where the director held a strange speech stating that we must be wondering that the anniversary show of the Kunsthaus is so small, but they lent all the major pieces to other museums (so they probably didn`t know that they might need them) – but although they were giving away everything, it is still something there, and he was wondering that it is still so important for a huge amount of people what DADA is and was…


Going back to Cabaret Voltaire Stötzer was routinely finding her way in the masses and was enjoying the best speech in the evening by Corinne Mauch – and as there was “free wurst” with the same routine Stötzer got a few and seeing the glimpse of Mauch also gave her a portion of Wurst with a Brötchen…She was direct, she was euphoric, she was brave and she was funny – so Stötzer brought DADA back to Zurich!