Saturday, May 9, 2009

Body Collage

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!

Submitted by Christy Batta

No comments:

Post a Comment

Speak to us!