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John Heartfield Photomontages and Marxism - Essay Example

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John Heartfield was an artist of Germany working between the two world wars who helped pioneer the art of the photomontage as a means of critical expression regarding the political situation he saw developing. His art is a social commentary on what he saw happening in Germany,…
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John Heartfield Photomontages and Marxism
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Download file to see previous pages To understand this relationship between Marx and Heartfield, this paper will provide some background into Heartfield’s work and the Weimar Republic before analyzing three of Heartfield’s works in light of Karl Marx’s “The German Ideology.”
Within the language of his art, Heartfield created photographic symbols for the various political parties. He included such images as clenched fists, raised arms and open hands to show the strong actions and determined nature of the men in the various parties to do what they felt was important. Rather than going out and working to take his own photographs, Heartfield opted to take recognizable photographs from the mainstream press and reassemble them in such a way as to change the meaning of the image to what he envisioned. Most of his images appeared in the magazine Die Arbeiter-Illustrierte Zeitung (Worker’s Illustrated Magazine or AIZ). To make his meanings as clear as possible, Heartfield stuck to a minimalist style, restricting himself to only a few telling images in each piece, thus becoming a father of the modern and postmodern movements.
The Weimar Republic, a convenient name developed by scholars to distinguish the political situation in Germany between the two world wars, was characterized by violent social upheaval. The country had been led for more than 40 years by the military and was suddenly forced, with the loss of World War I, to accept a civilian government. However, the large numbers of soldiers returning from the war, an unstable idea of how civil government should be constructed as well as a general non-acceptance of this type of government led to chaos within Germany. Several councils were put in place by the soldiers and workers of Germany. These councils led to the abdication of Emperor Wilhelm II, the establishment of a socialist nation and the creation of a parliamentary-led governmental system that acted more like a dictatorship. The general ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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