Hannah Höch

Portrait of Hannah Höch. 1933.
Chris Lebeau; photograph by Ronn, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Hannah Höch (German: [hœç]; 1 November 1889 – 31 May 1978) was a German Dada artist. She is best known for her work of the Weimar period, when she was one of the originators of photomontage.[1] Photomontage, or fotomontage, is a type of collage in which the pasted items are actual photographs, or photographic reproductions pulled from the press and other widely produced media.[2]

Höch’s work was intended to dismantle the fable and dichotomy that existed in the concept of the “New Woman“: an energetic, professional, and androgynous woman, who is ready to take her place as man’s equal. Her interest in the topic was in how the dichotomy was structured, as well as in who structures social roles.

Other key themes in Höch’s works were androgynypolitical discourse, and shifting gender roles. These themes all interacted to create a feminist discourse surrounding Höch’s works, which encouraged the liberation and agency of women during the Weimar Republic (1919–1933) and continuing through to today.”

“Hannah Höch.” Wikipedia, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hannah_Höch. Accessed 20 Oct. 2021.

Podcast about the artist

“Dada as a movement was inherently political in nature. Dada artists often used political satires to address the issues of the time. They attempted to push art to the limits of humanity and to convey the chaos in post-war (World War I, which did not yet have this title) Germany. “Many of Höch’s overtly political photomontages caricatured the pretended socialism of the new republic and linked female liberation with leftist political revolution” (Lavin).[24] Perhaps Höch’s most well known piece Cut with the Kitchen Knife Dada through the Beer-Belly of the Weimar Republic symbolizes her cutting through the patriarchal society. The piece is a direct criticism of the failed attempt at democracy imposed by the Weimar Republic. Cut with the Kitchen Knife is “an explosive agglomeration of cut-up images, bang in the middle of the most well-known photograph of the seminal First International Dada Fair in 1920” (Hudson).[22] This photomontage is an excellent example of a piece that combines these three central themes in Höch’s works: androgyny, the “New Woman” and political discourse. It combines images of political leaders with sports stars, mechanized images of the city, and Dada artists.”

“Hannah Höch.” Wikipedia, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hannah_Höch. Accessed 20 Oct. 2021.

Höch, Hannah. Cut with the Kitchen Knife Through the Beer-Belly of the Weimar Republic. 1919. Collage. via WikiArt
Höch, Hannah.. Dancing into the Dark. 1919. oil on cardboard – Germanisches Nationalmuseum – Nuremberg, Germany
Daderot, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

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