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German Photomontage in 1920s and 1930s - Essay Example

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In Germany during the 1920's, there was a wave f mass media images f the so-called New Woman. These images were seductive in their depiction f modern women as having greater mobility and sexual freedom. They were also identified as consumers f the products f a modern industrialized society…
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German Photomontage in 1920s and 1930s
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Download file to see previous pages Hoch was raised in a conventional, middle-class, small-town family. She moved to Berlin during World War I to study art and work for a women's magazine. It was during these years that she became a member f Berlin Dada. She showed her works regularly with the Dada group but did not establish an international reputation as an artist until after the Dada movement had fallen apart.
Cut With The Kitchen Knife includes more than 150 illustrations f works Hoch created during 1918-1933, the Weimar years. Hoch assembled her montages by selecting photographs f women from illustrated print sources and juxtaposing them with fragments f scenes from Weimar and German colonial society. Readers will be intrigued by the surprising even shocking compositions which combine the pleasure f viewing mass media images with critical, even destructive feelings about the subject matter. Maud Lavin offers both interpretation and critical analysis f these montages. (Freud 1955, 145-72)
Unless you're very knowledgeable, German art in the twentieth century has been done by men, and German women in the twentieth century have been reduced to the equation Woman=Nature, to child-like whores or to old whores, or the scary, brittle, maneating New German Woman. Masks. What a delight to discover the work f Hannah Hoch (1889-1978). The Walker Art Center has mounted an exhibition f her photomontages which will travel from there to the Museum f Modern Art and to the Los Angeles County Museum f Art. The Photo-montages f Hannah Hoch is the catalogue for the exhibition.
"Photomontage" (associated with the German word montieren, to assemble or to fit,) was used by the Berlin Dadaists to describe their piecing together f photographic and typographic sources, usually cut from the printed mass media. The Dadaists enjoyed the mechanica--and proletarian--connotations f the term and used it to distinguish their work from Cubist collage. Although Hannah Hoch worked in other media--useful black and white reproductions f her drawings and oil paintings accompany the text--all her work contained the elements she perfected in the photomontages she made for nearly sixty years. (Burgin 1982, 177-216)
The obligatory scholarly essays describing Hoch's life and work are inoffensive and useful But the colour plates are glorious. One hundred and nine reproductions are accompanied by a brief bit f text commenting on a play f words in the tide f a work or providing an historical detail or biographical sketch f a ballerina or industrialist or describing how the original mass media sources were manipulated by the artist. This detail, small colour reproductions f the original sources, conveys the creativity f the curators f this catalogue. Showing how a reproduction f drapery from an advertisement was cut, fumed on its side, and conjoled into becoming waves on the surface f water is magic. Somehow words, the right words, said about a work f art make the work f art visible. Magic.
The Photomontages, naturally, conveys the same old sad story f the boys refusing to acknowledge that a girl had played in ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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