Welcome to the new academic year! Here we are again back at the beginning. I will begin this term by looking at Hannah Hoch. I always find her work makes me feel a little sad but here we begin with this work Ohne Titel (without title)
I am starting with this as it exemplifies to me the fractured nature of woman, an ideal put together in the head of a man. Höch (German, 1889–1978) was part of the Berlin Dada group in the 1920s and worked on mixed media images that reflected and satirised popular culture and ideals. However, she mostly worked on gender issues. Hoch stated that; “Most of our male colleagues continued for a long while to look upon us as charming and gifted amateurs, denying us implicitly any real professional status.” (Hirschl Orley, H, 2022) Hoch's photomontages explored women's role in society and Hoch dedicated herself to promoting women through art. The Art Story states; '[Hoch was] A political iconoclast, she actively critiqued prevailing society in her work, and, implicitly, through many of her life choices. Her active interest in challenging the status of women in the social world of her times motivated a long series of works that promoted the idea of the "New Woman" in the era.' (Hannah Höch Photomontages, Bio, Ideas, 2022)
In the above image, the man is represented as a respectable but aloof generic male figure while the woman has been made almost grotesquely out of proportion with a hue infant head. This representation of marriage and perhaps the idea that marriage infantilises or reduces women's role in society as a whole, once married a woman then (at this time) has to be a perfect wife and mother. She is no longer allowed or expected to have a job or an important role creatively or at work.
Hoch was a pioneer in her field of Photomontage/mixed media imagery and was one of very few women to be working creatively in the Dada movement. Hoch continued to make work but could not exhibit during the Nazi regime and moved outside of Berlin, after the war she conituned to work and in 1976 there was a retrospective of her work. Hoch had a message and she (a little like Heartfield) was trying to warn women of the dangers of being a woman. At this time Hoch warned bout how women were portrayed in the media. She warned women of the dangers of advertising through her work and how this affected women.
These issues sadly still exist today for women and women themselves often do not or cannot stand up against the wrongs that are done to them in society. I started this post by stating that Hoch's work makes me sad, as you can see her work has sadness. Women if you can, do stand up!
Hirschl Orley, H. (2022) Hannah Hoch. [online] Available at: https://www.moma.org/artists/2675 [Accessed 2 October 2022].
The Art Story (2022) Hannah Höch Photomontages, Bio, Ideas. [online] Available at: https://www.theartstory.org/artist/hoch-hannah/ [Accessed 2 October 2022].
Gallagher, P. (2022) The Mama & the Dadas: The pioneering feminist artwork of Hannah Höch. [online] DangerousMinds. Available at: https://dangerousminds.net/comments/the_mama_the_dadas_the_pioneering_feminist_artwork_of_hannah_hoech [Accessed 2 October 2022].
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