abstractionAbstraction played an important role in the Dada movement from its beginnings at the Cabaret Voltaire in Zurich. Influenced by Vasily Kandinsky, Zurich dadaists understood abstraction as a way of gaining access to a more instinctive inner consciousness. This turn inward was a politically motivated turn against contemporary society, a movement toward pure instinct in the face of failed rationality. The dadaists' embrace of abstraction reached across any specific artistic category, and became a primary force for creative expression in the visual arts, poetry, dance, and other performances. As Richard Huelsenbeck described: "In that period, as we danced, sang and recited night after night, abstract art was tantamount to absolute honor. "