UNIT 7: Whitechapel Gallery

THE WHITECHAPEL GALLERY

Here I visited the Hannah Hoch exhibition at the Whitechapel Gallery. Höch was a pioneer of the art form that became known as photomontage. Many of her pieces sardonically critique the mass culture beauty industry at the time gaining significant momentum in mass media through the rise of fashion and advertising photography. Many of her political works from the Dada period equated women's liberation with social and political revolution. In particular, her photomontages often critically addressed the Weimar New Woman, collating images from contemporary magazines.  Her works from 1926 to 1935 often depicted same sex couples, and women were once again a central theme in her work from 1963 to 1973. Höch also made strong statements on racial discrimination. Her most famous piece is Schnitt mit dem Küchenmesser DADA durch die letzte weimarer Bierbauchkulturepoche Deutschlands ("Cut with the Dada Kitchen Knife through the Last Weimar Beer-Belly Cultural Epoch in Germany"), a critique of Weimar Germany in 1919. This piece combines images from newspapers of the time mixed and re-created to make a new statement about life and art in the Dada movement.

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I love her use of colour in the image below, and think this has a life and character much greater than her others, but perhaps that is because it looks like more of a fine art painting, as opposed to collage, something I enjoy.

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For the above, I see more the context of the beauty industry, whereas in others I feel the point is lost, and, to me, they look like simple collages, without much meaning. Perhaps I need to take a look closer and attempt to analyse each image, as each individual one was created for a purpose.

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I really enjoy the above collage, taking the heads away from 3 girls, something I feel I could use as a technique in my own collages.

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