In light of the questions you posed on the Body Collective blog, I've been
thinking about this collage I did when writing an art history paper about Hannah Hoch for my senior seminar last fall. As I wrote in my paper, "Throughout her lifetime Hannah Hoch used grotesque assemblages of photographic fragments from mass media sources to jar viewer’s cultural assumptions about gender and the fixedness of the world, as well as to express her own anxieties and uncertainties and those of Germany. The major themes of her works throughout her life are the social construction of gender, urban commotion and confusion, and the influences of the fragmented visual on the viewer.Residing in Germany all her life except for 3 years in the Netherlands, her career is firmly rooted in the context of German culture. Her most widely studied works are her Dada photomontages constructed in Berlin during the Weimar era- the 14-year period of democratic government from 1919 to 1933 between the World Wars characterized by national hardship and intense intellectual production. The majority of scholars focus on how her collages challenge the concept of the new Weimar woman who could vote, bob her hair, wear short dresses, and break into the workplace.The primary weakness of Hannah Hoch scholarship is the failure to address her career as a whole and its attempt to anchor her collage’s unstable provocativeness to a concrete meaning."
Hannah Hoch - Untitled, 1921 (photomontage)
Christine Batta - Untitled, 2008 (photomontage)
My collage exercise was intended to help me explore the influence of the photomontage process on completed works and the feeling of reconstructing female bodies as Hoch did. When I try to think of how I feel about my body, I realize that I am much more comfortable with this aesthetic exercise, placing my body in a wider social context of media imagery and gender constructions, than in the intimate details. It's kind of sad for me when I thinkof how my collage is a doubly mediated representation of my relationship with my body- mediated through magazine imagery and through the style of Hannah Hoch. In thinking more intimately about my body, I'm planning on submitting more projects to the blog!
Submission Guidelines: Title and explanation if you want either or both, name (or "anonymous" if you prefer), and links to your other work/web presences if you wish us to post them.
The photos in our header are all pieces by artists who do body-focused work - Kiki Smith, Louise Bourgeouis, and Jerome Bel. They are in no way affiliated with our project, but we do like what they do!