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Which clippings match 'John Heartfield' keyword pg.1 of 1
15 FEBRUARY 2017

Silent-era avant-garde artist-filmmakers disrupting the new realities of mass media (rather than replicating them)

"Around the time Shub started her documentary experiments, 20th century avant-garde artists likewise began using repurposed chunks of mass-produced ephemera. Picasso and Braque threw bits of newspaper into paintings; Max Ernst cut up Victorian illustrations to create proto-surrealist collages; Walter Benjamin, T. S. Eliot, and James Joyce pushed the literary practice of quotation into the realm of pastiche; Marcel Duchamp pioneered sculptural assemblage with his readymades; and photomontage blossomed in the graphic works of John Heartfield, Hannah Höch, and Alexander Rodchenko. These works rearranged reality to suit their artists' purposes but, unlike the compilation films, did not try to hide that manipulation. Whether Cubist, Dada, or Constructivist, these artists chose to disrupt the new realities of mass media rather than replicate them, savoring the illogic of dreamlike disjunctions and precipitating new ways to see all-too-common images."

(Ed Halter, 10 July 2008, Moving Image Source)


20th centuryAlexander Rodchenkoavant-garde artistsavant-garde cinemaconstructivistcubismcut-up techniqueDadadisruptiondocumentary experiments • dreamlike disjunctions • Ed Halter • Esther Shub • experimental film • found-footage • Georges Braque • Hannah Hochinfluential artistsJames JoyceJohn Heartfield • literary practice • Marcel Duchampmass media • mass-produced ephemera • Max Ernst • new realities • Pablo Picassopastichephotomontagepioneering filmmaker • proto-surrealist collages • quotationreadymade • repurposed archival material • Russian constructivism • sculptural assemblage • Thomas Stearns Eliot • Victorian illustrations • Walter Benjamin


Simon Perkins
16 NOVEMBER 2008

John Heartfield

[Short extract from America's Ovation TV on pioneering photomontage activist John Heartfield.]



Simon Perkins
22 APRIL 2005

Heartfield: Political Commentary Through Photomontage

"Exposing Nazism, and its leaders, to ridicule was [John] Heartfield's main aim in the 30s. 'The Meaning of the Hitler Salute' shows Hitler's right hand accepting a wad of bank notes from a gigantic bourgeois standing behind him. ''Little man requests big donation. Motto: Millions are behind me.

Heartfield was an early pioneer of photomontage. He used it as a political weapon to challenge fascism prior to the 2nd World War. For Heartfield ''New political problems demand[ed] new means of propaganda. For this task photography [possessed] the greatest power of persuasion."

(The Leninist, 1992)

Fig.1 John Heartfield (1932). Der Sinn des Hitlergrusses: Kleiner Mann bittet um große Gaben. Motto: Millonen Stehen Hinter Mir! [The Meaning of the Hitler Salute: Little man asks for big gifts. Motto: Millions Stand Behind Me!], 1932 [–of–art/1987.1125.8]



1932 • activismAdolf Hitleranglophobia • character portrait • fotomontageGermanguerrilla tacticsHelmut HerzfeldJohn HeartfieldNaziparodypersuasionphotographyphotomontagepolitical • political poster • propagandaridiculetacticThird Reichundermineupstaging
13 FEBRUARY 2004

Moholy-Nagy: Frames Within Space-frames

"A primary characteristic of the 'language' of montage is its tendency towards multiple and layered meanings. One example of this multiplicity is the combination of incongruous visual and verbal elements within the space of a single picture. ...these individual elements are combined in compositions, which are more like energy fields than traditional perspectival space (with its attendant sense of rational time). The syntax of montage is non–linear; any single element tends towards a multiplicity of possible connections with other elements. Meanings are contextual and relative, and the literalness of photography gives way to metaphor, metonymy and allegory. These effects are created not only by the cutting and fragmentation of elements but also by the space between the elements which, like gaps that must be jumped, activate and energise the image. It would not be incorrect to see these 'fields' as a kind of shattered mirror reflection of the energy, confusion and contradictions of life as the Dadaists saw it. Many of their works, however, emphasise the desire, perhaps the necessity, to see below this surface reflection to the underlying structure of society or the psyche. Iconographically, the most consistent reminder of that desire is the repeated use of anatomical photographs and diagrams in the work of Hausmann and Ernst. In addition to their visual impact as figures, these elements tend to constantly remind the viewer to be conscious of what is below the surface, even if that underlying layer is not visible. Thus, during this period the foundations were laid for the Surrealists' examination of the unconscious and for John Heartfield's satirical analysis of the ideology of Nazi Germany in the early 30's. Apart from and following Dada's end as an organised movement, important photomontages were also produced by Constructivist artists such as Lazio Moholy–Nagy and Alexander Rodchenko."
(John Pickel, 1988)

Title on Object: Eifersucht
Published Title: Jealousy

collage with photographic/photo–mechanical and drawn elements
63.8 x 56.1 cm.
Museum Purchase; ex–collection Sybil Moholy–Nagy
GEH NEG: 4339

Old GEH Number: 4685–11



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