Not Signed-In
Select and review.
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)

Fig.1
Title on Object: Eifersucht
Published Title: Jealousy

1927
collage with photographic/photo–mechanical and drawn elements
63.8 x 56.1 cm.
Museum Purchase; ex–collection Sybil Moholy–Nagy
GEH NEG: 4339
81:2163:0011

Old GEH Number: 4685–11

1

Sign-In

Sign-In to Folksonomy

Can't access your account?

New to Folksonomy?

Sign-Up or learn more.