This photograph reproduces a detail of Höch's large photomontage "Cut with the Kitchen Knife Dada through the Last Weimar Beer Belly Cultural Epoch". In it, Höch takes aim at the hypocrisies and moral bankruptcy of the Weimar Republic through the radical techniques of disorientation, negation, and disjunction. This new, fragmented art of cut and pasted clippings from the mass media allowed the Dadaists, in the words of George Grosz, to say "in pictures what would have been banned by the censors." Here, Höch sets into motion a swirling, anarchic panoply of military leaders, crowds, spinning machine parts, cabaret dancers, and Dadaist pranksters; the work's engagement with the social praxis--in terms of both its subject and its construction--marks a decisive rupture with traditional bourgeois modes of expression. Höch often reworked her photomontages, and this image records a crucial revision in the image's development: the removal of the charged textual fragment "Weltrevolution" (World Revolution) and its replacement by the relatively innocuous "Die grosse Welt Dada" (Big Dada World).
Inscription: Inscribed in ink on print, verso, upper edge: "Hannah Höch. // Detail des Klebesbildes: // [in quotation marks] Schnitt mit dem Küchenmesser Dada durch die letzte Weimaer [sic] Bierbauchepoche // aus der Dada-Ausstellung // 1922 bei Otto Burchards, Lützow- // ufer."; inscribed in pencil on print, verso LC: "242"; inscribed in ink on print, verso LL to LR: "Foto favoritaci da IVO PANNAGGI // (con preghiere di restituzione) // 35. [covered by tape]"; inscribed in pencil on print, verso, LL: "HOECH 3"
Ivo Pannaggi; (sale, Christie's, New York, May 4, 1987, Lot #277, to Waddell); John C. Waddell
IG provides full description of elements of collage, in part derived from Jula Dech's 1981 publication; copies enclosed in cataloging worksheet. According to inscription verso, this photo depicts Höch's collage from the Dada exhibition at Otto Burchard's in 1922, which must refer to the "Erste Internationale Dada-Messe," held from July 25 to August 25, 1920, at the Berlin Kunstsalon of Otto Burchard; hence the date inscribed is probably wrong, unless 1922 is the date of the only change Höch made on this collage. Dech notes that Höch frequently continued work on collages but estimates that the change from "Weltrevolution" to "Die große Welt dada" in lower right quadrant was probably made in 1924 (p. 47). Note that MMA photo shows exactly this area of change, perhaps documenting it.