Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Schools : Let's talk about women in the Arts : Hannah Höch & Dada Movement

Hannah Höch and her puppets,
Berlin, 1st International Dada Fair, 1920 

"I wish to blur the firm boundaries which we self-certain people tend to delineate around all we can achieve."

Hannah Höch

Höch was not only a rare female practicing prominently in the arts in the early part of the 20th century - near unique as a female active in the Dada movement that coalesced in her time.

Hannah Höch was born on 1st November 1930. In 1904, her family made her leave school to take care of her younger sister, thus postponing the art studies she had intended to follow. Instead, she practiced watercolours and drawing, using the surrounding countryside and family members as models. 

Hannah Höchs's 128th Birthday
artist doodler : Patrick Bremer

Google Doodle:

"If a picture is worth a thousand words, Hannah Höch’s pioneering photomontages speak volumes about gender stereotypes and politics, especially during the Weimar Republic era."

Google doodles team

Do you know Hannah Höch? Today, the 1st November, Google celebrates with a colourful Doodle the German artist Hannah Höch's 128th birthday pioneered an edgy style of photomontage.

Once again Google doodles team is honoring women in Art. The last were the Swiss artist Sophie Taeuber-Arp (2016), the Brazilian Lygia Clark (2015) and the French Niki de Saint Phalle (2014).

Hannah Höchs's 128th Birthday
artist doodler : Patrick Bremer

Created by Berlin-based collage artist Patrick Bremer, today’s Doodle uses "photomontage imagery and the feeling of brushstrokes to capture Höch’s likeness as one of her own collage characters."

The term photomontage is a term coined by the Berlin Dadaists that translates as a piecing together of photographic and typographic sources. 

The only woman in the absurdist Dada art movement of the 1910s. Höch and the Dadaists were the first to embrace and develop the photograph as the dominant medium of the montage.

Hannah Höst
In the 1910s, German artist and feminist Hannah Höch was the lone woman among Berlin’s avant-garde Dada movement, the raucous group responsible for naming a men’s urinal Fountain and turning it into one of the most influential artworks of the last century. 

Though she hung out with art stars like Piet Mondrian, they never quite saw her as an equal–artist Hans Richter once smugly dismissed her as “the girl who procured sandwiches, beer, and coffee, on a limited budget.”

Hannah Höch and her Dada dolls, 1925
courtesy Berlinische Galerie
Höch's darkly playful Dada Dolls are quite distinct from any work created by the others in the Berlin group of Dada artists with which she was affiliated early on. 
Given that the Berlin chapter of Dadaists only formed in 1917, these small-scale sculptural works suggest her awareness of Dada ideas more generally from its inception in 1916 in Zurich.

Hannah Höch, 1933
portrait: Chris Lebeau
Drents Museun, Assen NL
Flash-forward a century and this sandwich-procurer’s Hannah Höch is longer than yours, and her radical legacy was honored in a major new exhibition at London’s Whitechapel Gallery (2013-2014). 

 Fashion Show, 1925-35 
Hannah Höch
Berlinnische Galerie/ LandesMuseum für Moderne Kunst
Fotografie und Architektur, Berlin
It showcased over 100 works from major international collections, the exhibition included collages, photomontages, watercolours and woodcuts, spanning six decades from the 1910s until her death at age 88, in 1978.

Hannah Höch, Cut with the Kitchen Knife Dada through the Beer-Belly of the Weimar Republic, 1919
 Staatliche Museen, Berlin

Höch showed her most famous photomontage, Cut with the Dada Kitchen Knife through the Last Weimar Beer-Belly Cultural Epoch in Germany, at the 1st International Dada Fair in 1920. 

"Art is dead. Long live the machine art of Tatlin."

Dada Art Movement

First International Dada Fair, Berlin, 1920 
Hannah Höch Collection, Berlinische Galerie

Juxtaposing fragmented images culled from newspapers and magazines, including bits and pieces of movie star Pola Negri, philosopher Karl Marx, and a map of European countries where women could vote, "this large-scale piece conveyed her stance on women’s roles in society, art-world misogyny, and current affairs."

Höch remained in Germany during World War II and retreated to a house just outside Berlin. Entering a period of lyrical abstraction that explores the materials and possibilities of a newly developing consumer culture.

Höch has been called art’s first punk–her strikingly contemporary-looking photomontage style wouldn’t seem out of place on rock album covers.

Looking to this Hoch's collage, don't you think on some Pink Floyd's covers

She is one of the most influential artists in the reconfiguration of mass media images.

Höch remained in Germany during World War II and retreated to a house just outside Berlin. Entering a period of lyrical abstraction that explores the materials and possibilities of a newly developing consumer culture.

Für ein Fest gemacht (Made for a Party), 1936
Hannah Höch
Collection of IFA, Stuttgart


As I always write, Arts are absolutely necessary to a complete and better education of children and young people. 

I was lucky studying Humanities and Arts. All my life has been so full of good moments as a teacher sharing my literary and artistic thoughts and actions on young people's education along the years 
Discovering Arts in school education, some students can pick their inner path on Arts and later they will choose Art colleges and Higher Schools of Arts to develop their aptitude by a real leaning of Arts.

In our days, digital culture is well-come into the the school curriculum as an important tool to tackle the world's toughest problems creating bridges and establish a truly intercultural world, where diversity can be celebrated, a world where different cultures not only coexist but value each other for their contributions and potential.

Hannah Höch, Roma, 1925
 © Berlinische Galerie – Landesmuseum für Moderne, Kunst, 
Fotografie und Architektur © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2016 © ADAGP, Paris

Level: All levels. 
  • Focus on Arts (Vocational Education) ; School of Arts (Higher Education.
  • Secondary education: cross-curricular Literature & Arts.

Curricula: Arts ; Literature ; Design ; Digital Arts.

"I would like to show the world today as an ant sees it and tomorrow as the moon sees it."

Hannah Höch


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Schools : Let's talk about women in the Arts : Hannah Höch & Dada Movement bG-Souto is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Resources for teachers & students:

National Museum of Women in the Arts

The Art Story/ Hannah Höch

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