Page Content

Hannah Höch’s Dada Kitchen Knife

Hannahhoch

Hannah Höch. Schnitt mit dem Küchenmesser Dada durch die letzte Weimarer Bierbauchkulturepoche Deutschlands (‘Cut with the Dada kitchen knife through the last Weimar beer-belly cultural epoch of Germany’), 1919-20. Photomontage. 

As Germany began its slide into hyperinflation following the First World War, it did not escape the notice of some that while generals and politicians banqueted, citizens, including the war-injured, were starving. Hannah Höch was one such artist whose response to the political and cultural context included a photomontage ostensibly cut using the Dada kitchen knife. Schnitt mit dem Küchenmesser Dada durch die letzte Weimarer Bierbauchkulturepoche Deutschlands (‘Cut with the Dada kitchen knife through the last Weimar beer-belly cultural epoch of Germany’), is a large photomontage made from print reproductions cut from magazines and journals, first shown at the First International Dada Fair in Berlin, in 1920.1 Höch was a German artist who, as an art student in Berlin in 1915, had become involved with the Berlin Dada group.2She is known for her use of photomontage, a technique characteristic of Berlin Dada during the early Weimar period, in which previously published photographs from newspapers and magazines are used as material for collage, often in a satirical or politically critical way. Exhibited in a venue re-modelled along the lines of a commercial trade fair, rather than a traditional art gallery, Höch’s most famous work offers the burger van approach to art nutrition: de-ritualised, democratised and closely concerned with an everyday domestic diet of images. It seems likely that Höch used a scalpel or scissors to produce her work, in the way she would have been trained as a student of graphic and book arts. Her naming of the kitchen knife is likely, therefore, to be a deliberately planted suggestion of a more roughly hewn collage, hacked from popular magazines using a domestic cooking tool.

The kitchen knife of the title emphasises the physicality of chopping and slicing. It creates a disturbing collision between images of the body, making up much of the content of the photomontage, and the mental image of the kitchen knife. Höch cuts up, and cuts through, individual bodies to serve up the epoch as represented by a conglomerate of social and cultural actions, people and ideas. It is a subtle advancement on the Dadaist creation of the artist as engineer to include and incorporate the domestic realm of cookery. As well featuring the head of Karl Marx, this photomontage contains further representations of symbols of a Marxist superstructure: politics, for example, is represented by a map of women’s suffrage in Europe.3 Other elements of superstructure include political figures such as Marx; media, presented in the source material, culture and art through images of dance, Expressionism and Dada; and philosophy and science through an image of Albert Einstein, but moderated by a mathematical symbol and quotation from the philosopher Salomo Friedländer’s theory of Creative Indifference.4 These elements are combined by Höch to give an overview or cross-section of the epoch that she defines, in her title, as the beer-belly cultural epoch, in a further reference to food.

The First International Dada Fair was not intended to merely document, but to challenge. Höch’s gesture in presenting, in one work, the entire Weimar cultural epoch mocks the grandiosity of the ‘moral and aesthetic standards of the existing social order, which then seemed to us to be doomed’.5 Appearing in the same exhibition was Georg Grosz’s Prussian Archangel, 1920, consisting of a floating figure in military uniform, topped by a pig’s head, the exhibition of which led to Grosz and Wieland Hertzfelde being fined for defamation of the military.6 The content of Höch’s photomontage makes clear that the Dada kitchen is in close communication with the Dada department of propaganda. The beer-belly of the title stabs at particular people: the anti-revolutionary social democrats who compromised with the right while supressing the left. The work includes the recently murdered Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht, as well as Gustav Noske, considered by many at the time to be substantially responsible for their deaths.7 A topical photograph of the Weimar Republic’s Defence Minister, Noske together with President Friedrich Ebert is represented elsewhere in Höch’s work, such as in Staatshäupter (‘Heads of State’), 1918-20, in which Noske and Ebert appear in their swimwear, wading in the Baltic.8 The political content in Höch’s Cut with the Dada kitchen knife is conveyed through the means of carving out images of bodies from the carcass of popular culture using a metaphorical kitchen implement.9 In Höch’s Dada kitchen, the Expressionist giant Kathe Köllwitz is fondly skewered through the head and the more formal fare of Expressionism is replaced by a gluttony of mass-produced imagery. In this way Höch’s photomontage announces emphatically that art is under new management, in response the political context. It is no longer the ritualised dining occasion of the wealthy bourgeois connoisseur, who can afford to make pragmatic ideological compromises. By including references to the recent consequences of political compromises made by the government, together with examples from the prevailing art culture, Höch indicts the government and at the same time suggests that the cultural representatives contained in this photomontage are as responsible as the political representatives for the current state of affairs. The bourgeois art setting of the gallery is replaced in this exhibition with a facsimile of the industrial trade fair where, instead of the luxuriant dining hall, makeshift nourishment is provided from the fast food counter.

Dadaists had wanted to shift the apparent site of production for art in order for artists to be seen as productive workers, like engineers, with production shifted from the art studio to a venue of industry. The maker of a photomontage in Berlin Dada was termed a ‘photomonteur’ to reflect the importance of this association with the productive base rather than the superstructure of art and culture.10 In Cut with the Dada kitchen knife, Höch shifts the site of production again, to the kitchen, a domestic site. In this photomontage ingredients are collected, mixed and cooked using non-traditional art practices for a non-traditional art. The new tools of the new art now include the implements of the kitchen and the servery. The social context in which Höch presents this work is one in which women were expected to serve the state with their bodies by reproducing, much as men were expected to serve by joining the military. Even before the Nazi takeover of power in the 1930s an attitude existed that women’s activities should be limited to ‘Kinder, Küche, and Kirche’ (children, kitchen and church).11 Höch’s intervention into the kitchen realm subverts this proposed restriction on women’s activities and contributions to the economy by associating her revolutionary Dada photomontage with an area of interest deemed appropriate to her sex. Her invocation of the kitchen implement parodies the expected fulfilment of her domestic duty.12

Taking the Dada kitchen knife as a starting point, this article will consider how the implied reference to food and cutlery in the title of Cut with the Dada kitchen knife connects an economic and political critique of capitalism to ideas about the consumption of both food and image. It will then explore how Höch’s invocation of the body, through food, could have been intended to activate a transformation of culture and social reality.

Cutting with the Dada Kitchen Knife

The Dada kitchen knife is used to slice through the epochal Weimar beer-belly’s layers of machinery, science, war, politics and culture, and is a utensil of presentation.  Weimar Germany is presented as a pre-existing set of ingredients, and we are encouraged to consider it as being in its last epoch. The potential finality of this last epoch gives rarity value to the feast: get it now, while stocks remain. The Dada kitchen knife re-presents material sourced by Höch from the illustrated magazines of Weimar Berlin, existing in this context as a type of serving ware.

 The idea of cutting through the era was a common feature of the cultural landscape with cross-sections through different subjects presented as anthologies or picture essays.13 The cross-section is a model that envisions the greater whole through the unexpected conjunctions and juxtapositions caused by cutting through, rather than viewing in a linear, sequential or chronological order. This is similar to what happens when a layer cake is cut so that sponge is suddenly next to jam, cream or chocolate even though all of these were separate during the making. The construction of the cake depends on the separation of layers, whereas its consumption depends on their contiguity. It is only in the serving, with the cake knife, that the cake is completed so that hitherto unrecognised relationships and connections are revealed. The visual modelling of the cross-section in Weimar German culture was strongly influenced by the use of cross-sectional imagery in science, such as the X-ray or the exploded diagram. The indirect references to science and industry in the idea of the cross-section further remove Höch’s photomontage from an art context and link it more closely to industry. In the compression and layering in Höch’s photomontage a further comparison might be drawn with Freud’s description of the structure of dream thoughts. In The Interpretation of Dreams, 1900, Freud writes that the ‘whole mass of these dream-thoughts, under the pressure of the dream-work, are turned about, broken into fragments and jammed together–almost like pack ice.’14, In Höch’s photomontage,15 the contents of the cultural epoch, having initially been built up in temporal layers, are later subject to the extreme pressure and tensions of events such as the First World War and the Russian Revolution of 1917. It is no longer a neat slice through ordered layers of time, but a mass of broken fragments with crushed and expanded sections. The cooked version contains areas that are distorted, and it is these changes that are revealed by the Dada kitchen knife.

Money, Food, Consumption and the Body

The politics of food in Weimar Germany was informed by endemic hunger caused by the economic situation. The theme of overindulgence and inequality in relation to food had previously appeared in Grosz’s print Kriegsverwendungsfähig, (‘Fit for Active Service’) 1918, in which generals and doctors, bursting out of their uniforms, pass skeletons as fit for military duty, their own depicted corpulence a code for hypocrisy and injustice. A decade or so after Höch’s dissection of the Weimar beer-belly, John Heartfield, created an image of Hitler entitled Adolf, der Übermensch: Schluckt Gold und redet Blech (‘Adolf the Superhuman: Swallows Gold and Spouts Rubbish’), 1932, in which Hitler’s head is superimposed onto an X-ray image of a body swallowing a stream of gold coins. Heartfield connects money, food and the body once more in Hurrah, die Butter ist alle (‘Hurrah, the butter is All Finished’), 1935, which shows a family sitting at their kitchen dining table eating different metal objects.16 It also refers in printed text to a speech by Hermann Göring in which he said that he preferred guns and iron to butter because iron would make Germany strong, whereas butter would only make people fat.17 Heartfield’s Hurrah, the butter is All Finished, 1935, attacks the idea that the sustenance of the population, the feeding of their bodies, is, in Nazi ideology, of lesser importance to the feeding of the military and industry with iron and guns. The political analysis contained in Heartfield’s photomontage is sophisticated in linking capital and industry to fascism. He conveys his criticism using an image of bodies in the act of consumption. People are depicted consuming elements of the economy in the form of commodities such as iron, as part of a critique of the ideology of National Socialism, in which civilian foodstuffs are sacrificed for the economic demands of the State for rearmament.

In Cut with the Dada kitchen knife, Höch, at the close of the First World War, invokes, simultaneously, ideas of the body together with images of industry, capital and ideology, while additionally including the dual-facing concepts of images of consumption with the consumption of images. In this large photomontage, Höch exhorts the viewer to ‘invest your money in Dada’. Höch, as an avid collector of mass-produced illustrated magazines and newspapers, with a voracious appetite for photographic reproduction, consumes, digests and regurgitates, translating the raw material and transforming it for her Dadaist purpose. Höch’s address of mass consumer culture endured beyond her involvement in the Berlin Dada movement. In 1935 Höch illustrated a story by Til Brugman, Schaufensterhynose (‘Shop Window Hynosis’) in which consumer culture is presented as a kind of mass psychopathology.18 The main character in this story is compelled to continue buying and accumulating consumer items until his house it full from floor to ceiling. Cut with the Dada kitchen knife, as with Heartfield’s Hurrah, the butter is All Finished, incorporates an economic argument into a work of visual art in connection with the idea of consumption. In both examples, ideas of food, consumption and the body are joined using image to create an astute political dissection of contemporary events. In both Heartfield and Höch, references to capitalism and food are made through images that connect the economic exchange system of capitalism to the domestic social context of food. For Höch the cultural image is material, in the same way that food is material and the economy and politics are material. Her kitchen knife photomontage leads to the idea that if image has a relationship to the body, then machinery, physics and voting can also be part of the same dynamic set of interactions. Individuals are fed with images just as they are fed with food. For Höch, therefore, subjective experience is transformable using images, because of these intersections between the spheres of body, food, consumption and image. The creation and exhibition of Höch’s Cut with the Dada Kitchen Knife is directly preceded by the industrialised mass consumption of bodies in the newly mechanised machine warfare of the First World War and the explosion of a mass culture of image including printed picture magazines and film. In this photomontage, Höch highlights food as the social ingredient that binds culture, politics and philosophy to image, by the insertion of the word, ‘kitchen’, into the title.


Heartfield Hurrah Copy 2

John Heartfield. Hurrah, die Butter ist alle (‘Hurrah, the butter is All Finished’), 1935. Photogravure, Akron Art Museum, Ohio. 

Body Image

The direct use of foodstuffs in art, such as the pig’s head of Grosz’s Prussian Archangel (exhibited in the same show as Höch’s Cut with the Dada kitchen knife), and the use of references to food had precedent within Dada. Tristan Tzara’s Dada Manifesto, 1918, is festooned with references to food as well as bodily functions. Sweat, blood, flesh, excrement, hiccups, grease and entrails all feature in Tzara’s foundational tract. Tzara declared that Dada was a product of disgust, the most gastronomic of emotions, writing that:

(...) pity is a sentiment like diarrhoea in relation to the disgust that destroys health, a foul attempt by carrion corpses to compromise the sun. I proclaim the opposition of all cosmic faculties to this gonorrhoea of a putrid sun issued from the factories of philosophical thought, I proclaim bitter struggle with all the weapons of Dadaist Disgust.

19

The aim of Dadaist disgust is to put people off their current meal of images. Disgust inhibits the consumption of food by creating the sensation of nausea. The viewer is intended to choke on the movie poster or be not quite able to swill down the advertising photograph or art exhibition. Dadaist disgust is based on a model of consumption, rejection and return that can be easily mapped onto references to food in art. The body consumes, but it also ejects, emits, seeps and vomits. Dadaist disgust proposes negation: the rejection of accepted wisdom and the abolition of hypocritical manners. In the Dada Manifesto Tzara also evokes the spectre of art consuming itself.  Like the symbol of the Ouroboros, art is presented as infected by logic and swallowing itself from the tail end.20 To complement the rejection of the etiquette, manners and rituals of art, Dada found an analogy in the etiquette, manners and rituals of dining.

In cutting through the beer-belly of the cultural epoch, Höch provokes Dadaist disgust. Then, by cutting up images of the body, as well as cutting through the body of the epoch, Höch metaphorically dissects and reassembles the psyche as well as society. The kitchen knife of Höch’s photomontage is a utensil with a bodily relation, wielded in the hand. The knife thus creates a further indirect reference to the body, in addition to the title and the representations of bodies in the work. Rather than conceal the involvement of her hand and body in the creation of this and other photomontages Höch leaves evidence of the cutting process. The edges are left as jagged evidence of the act of construction and of the energetic and emotionally directed displacement from the original, more orderly, presentation. In much of Höch’s photomontage she cuts up, dismembers, mutilates and destroys the body, especially attacking the senses and drawing particular attention to eyes and mouths. Her work demonstrates a pre-occupation with the body, frequently focusing on images of the sensory organs. Höch’s philosophical background – as a Dadaist, who read Nietzsche, and an artist who had rejected the more idealist extremes of Expressionism – suggests a non-dualistic way of thinking about body and mind.21 Her stated intention is to change the way that people engage with the world, by helping people to experience the world more richly. She writes that she wants to ‘help people experience a much richer world, so that we can engage more benevolently with the world we know’. 22 As part of this intention, Höch links the sensations of art with a socially shared psychic activity, writing that, ‘[t]he more vividness, the stronger intuition and deeper empathy underlying the artwork, the more strongly it will speak to us’.23 In doing so, she demonstrates an assumption of mind, which is a concept that is necessary her aim of changing people’s minds. There is an emotional imperative to her technique: she explains that the physical cutting of photographic images by the Dadaists is led by ‘the emotional distress and the desperate struggle of the disappointed and haunted youth’.24 It is emotion leading the cutting implement, in this case the metaphorical kitchen knife.

Body image is described by Schilder in The Image and Appearance of the Human Body, 1935, as the way our bodies are seen by ourselves.25 Our own body image is built from the senses, from the visual view of parts of our bodies, together with an experience of unity of the body. The act of eating is part of this experience of bodily integrity. The sensation of eating is one of the sensations that create an experience of bodily unity. Food is experienced through the senses as a boundary-defining event that confounds the distinction between our bodies and our body image. The existence of the body as separate to an idea of an external world is both demonstrated and blurred through the consumption of food. Food threatens the integrity of the body because to eat something means taking it into the body, enveloping and absorbing it, and in some respects to become that object – we are what we eat. It also partly creates our body image, by providing sensations of our digestive tract.

Furthermore, body image is changeable. It changes continually according to a person’s actions, emotions and motivations, and is connected to the body images of others:

[T]here is from the beginning a very close connection between the body-image of ourselves and the body-images of others. We take parts of the body images of others into others, and push parts of our body-image into others. We may push our own body-images completely into others, or in some way there may be a continuous interplay between the body-images of ourselves and the persons around us.

26

Through this close connection between people’s body images and their tendency to push their body image into others, as well as to take parts of other’s body images, Höch’s work affects and is affected by the body images of others. Schilder explains that the transforming force of the body image is a result of a tendency to ‘unite the body-image with all other body-images’ rather than respond to the world directly as we see it.27 The perceptual apparatus is, therefore, highly attuned to images of the body and especially to those that disturb the sense of bodily unity or impinge on it. In mutilating and distorting images of the body, Höch makes use of this tendency for people’s body image to change according to the body images of others. In Cut with the Dada kitchen knife Höch attacks the surface of the body through distortions, changes of scale, substitutes and amputations. She distorts the body, for example by placing a tiny art critics head onto a giant baby’s body; she substitutes Einstein’s eye for a Möbius symbol of infinity and she replaces Köllwitz’s body with that of a dancer, although without actually attaching the head.28 These assaults on the surface of the body and its defining boundaries further align the work with the concept of eating as an activity that is similarly constitutive of body image.

Höch’s reference to food, through the kitchen knife of the title imports a wealth of rich sensory images, broadening the potential range of experience provoked by the work. The photomontage can now be spicy or cool, crispy or succulent. There are no separate channels for food in the human digestive system: all food follows the same route through the body. By presenting images as food, Höch suggests a similar unified digestive system may be in place for image, one that would also include sound and the senses of touch, taste and smell. In Cut with the Dada kitchen knife the abstract ingredients of machinery and technology, democracy and representation, physics and philosophy are shown as dynamically interacting to form a whole that can both nourish and constitute the foundation for social exchange and ritual. In the women’s magazines that Höch fed upon, women are presented for mass consumption, as fashion models, dancers and movie stars.29 Höch merely exaggerates the existing relationship that the viewer has to these images where people are presented for consumption.  In this exaggeration Höch reveals the cannibalistic horror of mass culture and evokes the fear of being consumed in turn. In Cut with the Dada kitchen knife, Höch revels in the scrumptiousness of image with glinting cogs of machinery, dollops of bodies and bellies kneaded and stretched between sprinklings of text and coated in the everyday surface texture of print. Höch takes the mass-reproduced image as raw material to be dismembered and refashioned into a new form, one that continually draws attention to the acts of looking and consuming. Images are placed in the role of food to allure the viewer with thoughts of the textures and flavours of the Weimar era, and also to repel to disgust them. The translation and re-presentation of image as food concretises the action of the image, in contrast to the more abstract and idealised use made by her political opponents. In consequence, the propaganda of the more abstract original found in the prevailing consumer culture is undermined. Höch changes the visual diet, working within a dynamic interaction in which image is both subjective and functional in the sense of being able to intervene in the field of material social relations. The image in Höch’s hands is radical in that its role is basic to our interactions with reality and with one another, as well as being radical in Höch’s transformative intention for it.

Conclusion

Food and its consumption, as a symbol rich in its connections and images, is exploited by Höch, as it is by Tzara, Heartfield and Grosz. While Heartfield’s famously satirical photomontage works can be viewed today as if there is a clear-cut separation between the ‘us’ of the twenty first century and the ‘them’ of the Nazi catastrophe, the critique and understanding of Dadaists such as Höch and Heartfield applies equally to the Wilhelmian Empire, as it applies to the Weimar Republic, and the post Second World War and Cold War eras, where images are still consumed, as nourishment or poison, and the body remains a political site. Höch’s invocation of the domestic realm of the serving knife in relation to the cultural and social ingredients of the epoch is a timeless and renewable resource, making her work relevant, and its effects applicable to the current ‘existing social order’. It perhaps, therefore, also creates a vested interest in wilfully misreading it. Faced with the task of representing the entirety of an epoch, Höch resorts to cutlery. The grandeur of the epoch is despatched by the everyday implement of the kitchen knife.  The Dada kitchen performs the role of focusing the seemingly abstract forces of social change through the everyday sensory and bodily lens of food. Höch’s Dada kitchen knife is not from the banqueting table of aristocratic politicians, or beer swilling generals who gorge themselves while sending starving workers to the death machine of war. The Dada serving hatch transforms the junk food diet of popular cultures into the fast food of insurrection for revolutionary diners – less formal, more democratic, but nonetheless deadly if overindulged.

Image Credits

Hannah Höch. Schnitt mit dem Küchenmesser Dada durch die letzte Weimarer Bierbauchkulturepoche Deutschlands (‘Cut with the Dada kitchen knife through the last Weimar beer-belly cultural epoch of Germany’), 1919-20. Photomontage. 114.0 x 90.0 cm. Staatlich Museen zu Berlin, Berlin. © DACS 2016.

John Heartfield. Hurrah, die Butter ist alle (‘Hurrah, the butter is All Finished’), 1935. Photogravure. 37.78 x 26.67 cm. Akron Art Museum, Ohio. © The Heartfield Community of Heirs/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn and DACS, London 2016.

End Notes

Go to footnote reference 1.

The Berlin Dada, First International Dada Fair took place during June, July and August, 1920, at the Galerie Otto Burchard. Höch’s participation was secured by Raoul Hausmann in the face of opposition from both George Grosz and John Heartfield. See S. Funkenstein, ‘Figuration of Women Dancers in Weimar Germany (1918-1933): Hannah Höch, Otto Dix, and Paul Klee’, PhD Thesis, University of Winsconsin-Madison, 2001, pp. 35-47, for a detailed analysis and description of one oft he works exhibited at this venue by Höch, Schnitt mit dem Küchenmesser Dada durch die letzte Weimarer Bierbauchkulturepoche Deutschlands (‘Cut with the Dada kitchen knife through the last Weimar beer-belly cultural epoch of Germany’), 1919-20. Also, M. Lavin, ‘Cut with the kitchen knife: the Weimar photomotages of Hannah Höch’, New German Critique, 51, 1993, pp.62-86.

Go to footnote reference 2.

Dada was an art and literary movement beginning in Zurich in 1916, at Hugo Ball’s Cabaret Voltaire, with Dada groups appearing later in other cities such as Berlin, Cologne, Hanover, Paris and New York. Dada artists include: Hannah Höch, Emmy Jennings, Sophie Täuber, Marcel Janco, Tristan Tzara, Hugo Ball, Christian Schad, Man Ray, André Breton, Kurt Schwitters, Richard Huelsenbeck, Hans Richter, George Grosz, Raoul Hausmann, Johannes Baader, John Heartfield and Arthur Segal. Dada began as an anti-militarist response to the First World War, opposed to the political ideologies and cultural values that were seen by Dadaists as having led to war. It was an anti-art movement that used a variety of tactics to shock the public including the issuing of manifestoes and staging of chaotic performances which enraged audiences. See for example, R. Sheppard, ‘What is Dada’, Orbis Litterarum, 34, 1979, pp.175-207.

Go to footnote reference 3.

Schnitt mit dem Küchenmesser Dada durch die letzte Weimarer Bierbauchkulturepoche Deutschlands (‘Cut with the Dada kitchen knife through the last Weimar beer-belly cultural epoch of Germany’), 1919-20, includes a map, in the lower right hand corner, of countries in Europe where women had achieved suffrage. In Germany the Weimar Republic included women’s suffrage in its constitution from the beginning in 1919, making this a highly topical issue for Höch’s political and cultural overview of the Weimar ‘epoch’.

Go to footnote reference 4.

S. Friedländer, Schöpferische Indifferenz. Norderstedt: Books on Demand, 2009.

Go to footnote reference 5.

H. Höch, 'Hannah Höch 1889-1978', in E. Roditi, Dialogues: Conversations with European Artists at Mid-Century. London: Lund Humphries, 1990, p. 67.

Go to footnote reference 6.

M. White, ‘The Grosz Case: Paranoia, Self-hatred and Anti-Semitism’, Oxford Art Journal, 2007, pp. 431-453.

Go to footnote reference 7.

Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht had been staunchly anti-militarist members of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in Germany, but were critical of the compromises made with the conservatives, formed the Spartacus League in 1916 and led the Spartacist uprising. After months of street battles the uprising was ended in 1919 by the SDP government with the use of the right wing paramilitary group, the Freikorps. Friedrich Ebert was President of the new republic and his Defence Minister, Gustav Noske, led the government side of street fighting that continued in Berlin into 1919. The importance of this political context to Berlin Dada is detailed in J. C. Middleton, ‘“Bolshevism in Art”: Dada and Politics’, Texas Studies in Literature and Language, 4(3), Autumn, 1962, pp. 408-430. Charles Haxthausen discusses the ‘arrests and summary executions by the Freikorps carried out under the Majority Socialists (SPD) throughout Germany’ (p.111) describing Noske as ‘synonymous with the bloody counterrevolution’ (p.117) in C. Haxthausen, ‘Bloody Serious: Two Texts by Carl Einstein’, October, (105), Summer, 2003, pp. 105-118.

Go to footnote reference 8.

Ebert and Noske were Social Democratic Party leaders who used paramilitary forces to supress left wing uprisings. They had been depicted on the cover of the Berliner Illustrirte Zeitung in August 1919, wading in the Baltic. Their appearance in Höch’s Cut with the Dada kitchen knife is therefore particularly topical.

Go to footnote reference 9.

Höch sourced her photomontage material from popular magazines such as Die Dame. For a detailed examination of Höch’s practice see K. Kallos, ‘A woman’s revolution: The relationship between design and the avant-garde in the work of Hannah Höch 1912-1922’, PhD Thesis, University of Winsconsin-Madison, Madison, 1994. An in depth analysis of the relationship of her work to mass culture is found in M. Makela, ‘The Misogynist Machine: Images of Technology in the Work of Hannah Höch’, in K. Ankum, Women in the metropolis: gender and modernity in Weimar culture, 1997, Berkeley, Los Angeles and London, University of California Press, pp.106–127, and also in M. Lavin, Cut with the kitchen knife: the Weimar photomontages of Hannah Höch. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1993.

Go to footnote reference 10.

For example, Höch uses the term ‘Photomonteur’ in an interview with Eduoard Roditi, H. Höch, 'Hannah Höch 1889-1978', in E. Roditi, Dialogues, pp. 65-74.

Go to footnote reference 11.

R. Bridenthal, Beyond Kinder, Küche, Kirche: Weimar Women at Work, Central European History, 6 (2), June 1973, pp 148-166.

Go to footnote reference 12.

Other examples of Höch’s inclusion of forms and media associated with the domestic realm include her use of embroidery patterns discussed for example in K. Kallos, A woman’s revolution.

Go to footnote reference 13.

Michael Cowan provides a detailed discussion of the term ‘Querschnitt’ and the older, related term ‘Durchschnitt’, drawing on its history of scientific use as a visual model, in M. Cowan, ‘Cutting through the Archive: Querschnitt Montage and Images of the World in Weimar Visual Culture’, New German Critique, 40(3), 2013, pp.1–40. Brigid Doherty also finds a connection between Cut with the Dada Kitchen Knife and the idea of the cross-section in B. Doherty, ‘Figures of the Pseudorevolution’, October, (84), Spring, 1998, pp. 64–89.

Go to footnote reference 14.

S. Freud, The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, Volume IV (1900): The Interpretation of Dreams (First Part), trans. J. Strachey. London: Hogarth and Institute of Psychoanalysis, 1953, p. 312.

Go to footnote reference 15.

The Surrealists, in particular used psychoanalytic ideas for revolutionary ends, using art, for example, the technique of chance, informed by psychoanalysis, was used in both Dada and Surrealism. Höch’s Berlin art circle was closely connected to the early history of psychoanalysis through interactions with the psychoanalysts Otto Gross and Ernst Simmel and also artists and writers associated with psychoanalysis such as Arthur Segal and Alfred Döblin. According to Höch’s biographer, Hans Ohff, Simmel, Segal and Döblin were all attendees of the monthly meetings of the Mynona-Segal circle that Höch also took part in: H. Ohff, Hannah Höch. Berlin: Gebr. Mann Verlag, 1968. There are further indications in Höch’s work of an awareness and engagement with psychoanalysis including direct references to Freud such as in the undated story ‘Julie’, in which Höch refers directly to Freud: H. Höch, ‘Julie’, in Hannah Höch: Eine Lebenscollage 1921-1945. Band II. Abteilung 2, Berlin: Hatje,1995, pp.689–693.

Go to footnote reference 16.

Translated following the Akron Art Museum, Ohio, where a copy of the Arbeiter Illustrierte Zeitung, 14(51), December 19, 1935, in which this photomontage appears (p.816), is held. Alternatively, sometimes translated elsewhere asHurrah! The butter is all gone’ or ‘Hurray! The butter is gone’. ‘Finished’, is chosen here because is relates more specifically to eating, which reflects more accurately the meaning of this saying in its orignal contexts (see n.17).

Go to footnote reference 17.

Heartfield’s photomontage was published in the Arbeiter Illustrierte Zeitung in December 1935. The most likely topical reference is therefore to Hermann Göring’s speech in Hamburg in 1935. The use of butter to stand for food, and civilian economic commodities in general, and iron for guns and rearmament was pre-existing, however, and is also used later by Göbbels, for example. Göring’s reference to butter and iron is reported variously, for example by Siegfried Schulz in the Chicago Daily Tribune, December 7, 1935 which paraphrases (and translates) Göring’s speech as “Iron ores make nations strong – butter and lard make them only fat”: S. Schultz, ‘Goering Asserts Guns, Not Food, Count with Nazis’, Chicago Daily Tribune, December 7, 1935, p. 11. The quotation also appears slightly differently in D. Carnegie, Some Economic and Social Effects of Rearmament, International Affairs (Royal Institute of International Affairs),18(6), Nov-Dec, 1939, pp. 784-797, as “Iron makes an Empire strong; butter only makes people fat”, (p. 785).

Go to footnote reference 18.

T. Brugman, ‘Schaufensterhypnose’, in, T. Brugman, Scheingehacktes: Mit zeichnungen von Hannah Hoech. Berlin: Rabenpresse, 1935, pp. 20-31.

Go to footnote reference 19.

T. Tzara, ‘Dada Manifesto, 1918’, in R. Knopf (ed.), Theatre of the Avant-Garde 1890-1950: A Critical Anthology. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2015, pp. 257-264.

Go to footnote reference 20.

The Ouroboros is an ancient symbol in which a snake or serpent eats its own tail. It dates back to several ancient cultures, including ancient Egypt and ancient Greece. Its basis is a circle and it can be used to refer to the idea of return or to cycles of life in which there is no beginning or end, however, Tzara’s use of the idea of art swallowing its own tail in the Dada Manifesto, 1918, is as a negative consequence of adhering to logic.

Go to footnote reference 21.

Ellen Maurer identifies Friedrich Nietzsche as a key theoretical influence on Höch, along with Henri Bergson, the sociologist Georg Simmel, and the philosopher and close friend of Höch’s, Salomo Friedländer: E. Maurer, Hannah Höch: Jenseits fester Grenzen Das malerische Werk bis 1945. Berlin: Gebr. Mann Verlag, 1995.

Go to footnote reference 22.

Höch in J. Aliaga, 'The Total Woman: On the Art of Hannah Höch, Individuality and Gender Issues in Difficult Times', in J. Aliga (ed.), Hannah Höch: Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía Del 20 de Enero Al 11 de Abril de 2004. Madrid: Aldeasa, 2004, pp. 311-321.

Go to footnote reference 23.

R. Burmeister and E. Fürlus (eds.), Hannah Höch, p. 365.

Go to footnote reference 24.

P. Schilder, The Image and Appearance of the Human Body. London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co. Ltd., 1935, p. 255.

Go to footnote reference 25.

Ibid p. 255.

Go to footnote reference 26.

Funkenstein discusses the context for Höch’s figuration of dancers in S. Funkenstein, Figuration of Women Dancers in Weimar Germany, pp. 35-47.

Bibliography

Aliaga, J., edited, Hannah Höch: Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía Del 20 de Enero Al 11 de Abril de 2004. Madrid: Aldeasa, 2004.

Brugman, T., Scheingehacktes: Mit zeichnungen von Hannah Hoech. Berlin: Rabenpresse, 1935.

Bridenthal, R., ‘Beyond Kinder, Küche, Kirche: Weimar Women at Work’, Central European History, 6 (2), June, 1973, pp. 148-166.

Burmeister, R., and Fürlus, E., edited, Hannah Höch: Eine Lebenscollage 1921-1945. Band II. Abteilung 2. Berlin:Hatje, 1995.

Carnegie, D., ‘Some Economic and Social Effects of Rearmament’, International Affairs (Royal Institute of International Affairs), 18(6), Nov-Dec, 1939, pp. 784-797.

Cowan, M., ‘Cutting through the Archive: Querschnitt Montage and Images of the World in Weimar Visual Culture’, New German Critique, 40(3), 2013, pp.1-40.

Doherty, B., ‘Figures of the Pseudorevolution’, October, (84), Spring, 1998, pp. 64-89.

Freud, S., The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, Volume IV (1900): The Interpretation of Dreams (First Part), translated by. J. Strachey. London: Hogarth and Institute of Psychoanalysis, 1953.

Friedländer, S., Schöpferische Indifferenz. Norderstedt: Books on Demand, 2009.

Funkenstein, S., ‘Figuration of Women Dancers in Weimar Germany (1918-1933): Hannah Höch, Otto Dix, and Paul Klee’, PhD Thesis, University of Winsconsin-Madison, 2001.

Haxthausen, C., ‘Bloody Serious: Two Texts by Carl Einstein’, October, (105), Summer, 2003, pp. 105-118.

Roditi, E., Dialogues: Conversations with European Artists at Mid-Century. London: Lund Humphries, 1990.

Kallos, K., ‘A woman’s revolution: The relationship between design and the avant-garde in the work of Hannah Höch 1912-1922’, PhD Thesis, University of Winsconsin-Madison, Madison, 1994.

Lavin, M., ‘Cut with the kitchen knife: the Weimar photomontages of Hannah Höch’, New German Critique, 51, 1990, pp. 62-86.

Lavin, M., Cut with the kitchen knife: the Weimar photomontages of Hannah Höch. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1993.

Ankum, K., Women in the metropolis: gender and modernity in Weimar culture. Berkeley, Los Angeles and London: University of California Press, 1997.

Maurer, E., Hannah Höch: Jenseits fester Grenzen Das malerische Werk bis 1945. Berlin: Gebr. Mann Verlag, 1995.

Middleton, J., ‘“Bolshevism in Art”: Dada and Politics’, Texas Studies in Literature and Language, 4(3), Autumn, 1962, pp. 408-430.

Ohff, H., Hannah Höch. Berlin:Gebr. Mann Verlag, 1968.

Schilder, P., The Image and Appearance of the Human Body. London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co. Ltd., 1935.

Schultz, S., ‘Goering Asserts Guns, Not Food, Count with Nazis’, Chicago Daily Tribune, December 7, 1935, p. 11.

Sheppard, R., ‘What is Dada’, Orbis Litterarum, 34, 1979, pp.175-207.

Tzara, T., ‘Dada Manifesto, 1918’, in R. Knopf edited, Theatre of the Avant-Garde 1890-1950: A Critical Anthology. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2015, pp. 257-264.

White, M., ‘The Grosz Case: Paranoia, Self-hatred and Anti-Semitism’, Oxford Art Journal, 30(3), 2007, pp. 431-453.

Kay Tabernacle

Kay Tabernacle is a PhD candidate at the Slade School of Fine Art, UCL. Her current research focuses on the transformative purpose of imagination in the work of the German artist, Hannah Höch, 1889-1978. In 2014, she presented an animation and talk on Höch at the Whitechapel Gallery in association with the Hannah Höch retrospective, as part of From Dada to Data, curated by Film and Video Umbrella. Her writing on Höch has recently appeared in Tropos: The Journal of Comparative Cultural Inquiry and in Think Pieces: A Journal of the Joint Faculty Institute of Graduate Studies, University College London. Kay studied Fine Art at Cardiff School of Art and Design and then at the Slade School of Fine Art before starting her AHRC funded PhD at the Slade in 2011. In her studio she works in painting, drawing and animation.