• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Photomontage in Berlin, A critical study of the capitals inter-war artwork

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Photomontage in Berlin, A critical study of the capitals inter-war artwork In this essay I will aim to look at the history of photomontage and to also draw concise conclusions from the artwork produced specifically in inter-war Germany. I will debate the ideas of why it became so popular, in a country with political unrest. Also I will look at Photomontages strengths and weaknesses, both artistically and politically. To fully understand how Photomontage came about, we must first look at the Dada movement of the early 20th century. This movement was very much responsible for influencing not only Photomontage, but also Surrealism and Pop Art. It is therefore a key phase of the modernist movement. Indeed many Dadaists eventually became experts in the field of photomontage, so it seems only right to first analyse briefly this Forerunner. Dada began in the First World War in Switzerland, and quickly spread to most parts of Europe as an anti-art movement. Dada was considered by its creators as an anti-art movement, because Dada aimed to be a complete contradiction of Arts socio-political values. Dada in Berlin leaned towards the angrier and politically motivated approach to the arts. ...read more.

Middle

This suggests that photomontage has important values that make it very useful in persuading people. Dada was erratic, and difficult to comprehend. With Photomontage Heartfield was able to speak to the masses with his work. "His works were political propaganda aimed at a wide public, not private works of art"4 Additionally it seems that photorealism plays a key part in the use of photomontage and its power. Even though the photographs are stitched together they still give the message in a clear and more reliable way than cartoons or paintings. "Although clearly symbolic, their effect is all the more powerful because they are real objects"5 This realism is key to the success of photomontage. It helped firstly to bring modern art and political critique to the masses and secondly it posed real views in photographic form. They were more serious than cartoons. An artist that disobeys this idea is Hannah Hoch. While most of her work is abstract and very different to Heartfield, she still used her artwork for political reasons. Her own political beliefs of feminism come through in her work. An example would be Strong armed men (right). ...read more.

Conclusion

Photomontage did have its weaknesses, having associations in style to advertising means that photomontage political work can look too obtuse. That it is merely selling a simple idea to the masses, the masses could either take this idea or mock it. No one wants to be lectured to, so for a political montage to work it must leave enough for the viewer to assume, rather than forcing assumptions. Photomontage is now part of our culture, it is inescapable. Wherever we turn we see images that have been put together to create an idea. Occasionally in the style of Kruger it re-appears in art form. Yet these artworks still nod towards the ideas of mass culture, such as billboards, advertising and propaganda. Because of this it is questionable whether a political photomontage in modern times can still induce political thought. Also, with the advent of modern computing photomontages are harder to spot, and are associated with deceptive photographs. Photomontage has potential for political use, and this is clear from the work from post World War one Germany. The style of an artist such as Heartfield is faultless, the only weakness is that a single photograph can be more powerful than several montaged together. Documentary photography has superseded photomontage, and political photographs can be more persuasive because, they are pure realism. 6. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Political Philosophy section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Political Philosophy essays

  1. Utilitarianism: Explanation And Study of Criticisms

    He believed that all people should be treated equally and what is right for society relies on what makes the individual happy. Happiness is determined in terms of pleasure. Bentham was a hedonist - pleasure seeker. His aim was to pursue pleasure and avoid pain.

  2. Nigeria Country Study

    The National Assembly, consisting of a 109-member Senate and a 360-member House of Representatives, constitutes the country's legislative branch. Three senators represent each of Nigeria's 36 states, and one additional senator represents the capital city of Abuja. Seats in the House of Representatives are allocated according to population.

  1. Socialist uses of workers' inquiry

    this new employment will pay as high wages as did the one they have lost? If it did, it would be in contradiction to the laws of political economy. We have seen how modern industry always tends to the substitution of the simpler and more subordinate employments for the higher and more complex ones.

  2. Iran Country Study

    If a subcommittee votes not to report legislation to the full committee, the bill dies. * After receiving a subcommittee's report on a bill, the full committee can conduct further study and hearings, or it can vote on the subcommittee's recommendations and any proposed amendments.

  1. Russia's Political Party System as an Obstacle to Democratization

    It is no surprise that many political figures believed that they possessed the expertise to accomplish this task and founded parties to advance their particular ideas. The result is a party system in which parties are less concerned with the voters' desires than they are with convincing the voters of the righteousness of their vision.

  2. To what extent did the key political ideas directly Influence change and development in ...

    proletariat into achieving what they believed to be a healthy state of living. Marx highlighted the fact that throughout the whole of history, the mode of production was decided upon by a small elite who only stood to gain from it, by making themselves in charge and reaping the benefits,

  1. T difficult for export orientated economics to sustain the land owning elites much longer. ...

    Another factor that contributed to this and restricted the political domination of the land owning elites is that the global economy had experienced rapid economic growth, but, this would change when war broke out in Europe in 1914 and the economy would begin to slow down and make it difficult

  2. The cold war

    In addition, aid can conceal the inaction of governments by both caring for the wounded that might go back to the battle and the costs involved. As these cases show, humanitarian assistance has been accused of prolonging or exacerbating wars.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work