"Es ist nicht Dada Unsinn ist - aber das Wesen unserer Zeit, dass Unsinn ist."

"It’s not Dada that is nonsense--but the essence of our age that is nonsense."

-The Dadaists

Friday, March 25, 2011

December 12, 1943
The later years and closing.
Sea Serpent,  1937
            In the late 1920s and early 30s, my career reached its heights as I became involved in more exhibits and having one woman exhibitions that featured only my artwork. In 1929, I displayed eighteen of my montages in the prominent “Film and Photo” exhibition, which served as one of the first steps to an open, public career. Sadly, in 1933, my public career came to a halt as Adolf Hitler and the Nazis seized power of Germany.
             When the Nazis came to power, they reconstructed Germany as a whole. Political, economic, and social factors were rearranged to satisfy Hitler. Therefore, the new art forms  that arose in the 1920s was now alterenated into the previous nineteenth-century emphasis on the realistic scenes of everyday life. The Nazis believed that they were starting a new authentic German art that would elevate the Aryan race. Thus, many different types of art, including Dadaism, were condemned and forbidden. My colleagues and long-time companions fled to other countries, while I remained in Germany. The ones left behind constructed their artwork quietly and carefully. My position towards the Nazis was rather mutual. I did not support them, but I would not dare to oppose the party. Like others, I continued my life’s work as an artist; however I could not regain my public career as the censorship the Third Reigh was strong.
          Despite the new regime, I still held exhibitions, although it did certainly jeopardize my safety. I had a one person
Never Keep Both Feet on the Ground

exhibit at Kunstzaal d'Audretsch in Hague in 1934. During the same year I held another one person exhibition in Czechoslovakia. A year later, I separated from Brugman and lived in Berlin on my own. In 1938, I married with young businessman and pianist by the name of Kurt Matthies. Unfortunately, we divorced four years later.
            Present time. I am aging every day, but still pursue my passion for the arts. 1943, Germany along with the rest of the world, are at the height of World War II. Hitler and the Nazis have gotten more aggressive and repressive, which is why I must sadly close my online journal. I am now forced to keep a low profile and remain in the background. Censorship prevents me from expressing my inner thoughts and feelings. However, possibly when the war ends, there will be more freedom. If so, I will be sure to reopen my online journal. I am confident that I will continue my work as a female Dada artist. Till next time.
Lebewohl, farewell.   


Thursday, March 24, 2011

On the Way to Seventh Heaven, 1934

"I wish to blur the firm boundaries which we self-certain people tend to delineate around all we can achieve."

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

This is a slide show of my montages. Hope you enjoy!
February 7, 1933
Photomontage and Weimar Germany.
            Four years ago, I had my first one person exhibit in Hagues. This was a new experience for me. It was in fact, a very enjoyable time as I got the chance to share my artwork as the sole female artist in the Berlin Dada Berlin. If you did not get the opportunity to see my new collages, I will certainly post them for you.
            It is probably obvious by now that most of my works are photomontages. The term “photomontage” is the process in which a photograph is created by the cutting and joining of other photographs. The result piece is also referred to as a photomontage. The idea photomontages have dated back to the late 1850s, but have only reached their heights in popularity during World War I.
            We, The Berlin Dada movement are one of the first “pioneers” as some have called us, of photomontage. Most of our works by Grosz, Hausmann, Baader, Heartfield, and Huelsenbeck, are all montages. Photomontage is our basic form of modern art that we use to express our beliefs. Being a woman, however, differentiated my montages because my ideas geared more toward women’s issues. In the early years of photomontage, I took photos from magazines like Biz, for whom I worked for and pieced them together.  I was able to convey different messages through my works which set me apart from other Berlin Dadaists. I often experimented with new photos and create a range of montages that would express my lifelong occupation with equality among the genders and the connection between the sexes.
            In 1930, I moved back to Berlin with Til Brugman and was exhibited in the Grosse Berliner Kunstausstellung and the Berlin Photomontage exhibition. Back home, the Weimar Republic still controlled Germany, but it was obvious that its inability to deal with Germany’s problems left a gap for the emergence of a new regime. Despite the lack of satisfaction with Weimar Germany, the republic allowed the country to be one of the leading European centers for the modern arts. By this year, photomontage had become a regular feature in the modern arts and some of my works were finally being recognized. Current day, I am now 44 years old and I do have other exhibitions in a few months. They will be held in America and the Brussels. There are a few montages that I have recently added to my works and I will be sure to upload them!

Schnitt mit dem Küchenmesser Dada durch die letzte Weimarer Bierbauch Kulturepoche von Deutschland
   “Cut with the Kitchen Knife Dada
through the Last Weimar Beer-Belly Cultural Epoch of Germany,” 1919.
The Cut with the Kitchen Knife
is one of my more popular photomontages. I created this in the early years of
my career, but just recently it has had a wider audience. In the montage, I involved
almost every aspect of the early Weimar Germany. I made a political, military,
and cultural visual that illustrated Dadaism in the new society. Communism had
embraced the Dadaist while Weimar Germany remained anti-dada.

Marlene, 1930
 Indische Tanzerin  “Indian Female Dancer,” 1930


“Tamar," 1930
was a montage that I enjoyed constructing because I was able to combine the
feminine body with masculine arms, portraying equality in the genders, but also
confusion geared toward whom may be superior.
“German Girl,” 1930.



        “Love," 1926.       
    Die Braut
“The Bride,” 1933.


Sunday, March 20, 2011

April 15, 1929
Feminism and the “New Woman”
"None of these men were satisfied with just an ordinary woman."
            On account of my last entry, I introduced Til Brugman, who is now my lover living in Hague, Netherlands. Yes, I do confirm my bisexuality and this has taken a toll on some of my artwork. As you can see that some collages include men and women submerged into one body. However, I will go in detail on that matter later. Being on the subject of women, brings my next topic I would like to share with you. Feminism. This act of defending and establishing women’s equality has remained in my life since the beginnings of my career. Especially in an environment when I remained the only female in the Berlin Dada movement, there was much rejection to my work.
            Although I had colleagues such as Kurt Schwitters and Piet Mondrian to support me in my work, I still had objections. One person in particular who had many things to say about my gender was Hans Richter, a member of the Berlin Dada movement. I recall a moment when he referred to me as the “quiet girl” with a “small voice.” Angered I spoke out, but in a society where men are above women, what could my voice do? So I turned to my art and expressed my thoughts. This had a bigger and better voice. Not only was I denounced by Richter, Mr. Hausmann also set aside my work, along with Mr. Grosz and Heartfield who went against my involvement in the previous 1920 Dada Fair. They had never accepted me as an equal. Painful as it was, I endured the criticism and spoke against the hypocrisy of the Berlin Dada movement through my montages.
            Moving forward with my artwork, I was exhibited in Netherlands and several other German cities in 1928. My development in Dadaism during the 1920s involves a great deal with the “New Woman”. This new concept of a new woman aroused after World War I, when the traditional middle-class attitudes of sexuality began to break down. Women adopted new styles of clothes, cosmetics, and hairstyles. Our physical appearance was changed, while our bodies were more exposed. This defined the concept of the “New Women”. However, society did not see the impact it took on women. Therefore, I used the Dada arts to depict the women’s role in the new mass culture. Yes, we were offered new freedoms as a modern woman, but we were also prone to adopt the new images society expected from us. The photomontages from my previous online posts connect to the modern woman as well. Below, are more collages I have created that correspond to the idea of the “New Women”. Years of experiencing and developing a stronger understanding to the modern society has encouraged me to go in depth with this topic. I have a chance to elaborate my works and show you what I try to convey.
Da Dandy, 1919.
 In this work, I molded different heads of the modern women together to make up a face of a man outlined by the thin red line. This man is facing to the right; hopefully you can make out this picture. The women are confused about their identity in the new society.

Dada Ernst, 1920.
 In this collage, several ideas are portrayed. There are a pair of legs touching the coins, which are linked to the bow leading to the gymnast. I utilized this to show the modern athletic women in the new society. However, the naked back of the women exposes thefeminine side. The main focus of the collage is the man’s eye placed between the pair of legs. It is revealing the “New Woman” in the current society on the midst of watchful men. This was my expression of the new society in Germany. I could not quite make out our new role in the mass culture and in my eyes there was much confusion, but also a chance for a new beginning.

Dada Dance, 1922. 
Women must follow the new fashions of the modern mass culture.

     1929. I am at the age of forty living with Til  Brugman in Hague, Netherlands. A new artistic movement of surrealism has take place, however I continue my work in photomontage. I am very excited at this moment because, I am proud to say, that I will be having my first one person exhibit called Kunsthuis de Bron in the Hagues, Rotterdam. It is late at night now and I must retire to my chamber. I look forward to my exhibition and will definitely write about the experience! 


Saturday, March 19, 2011

August 14, 1926
Relationship and sexuality.
            Amazing! Five years has already passed since the last time I wrote. A couple years back, I war grieving over my separation with Mr. Hausmann in 1922. Although this was a tragic time of my life, I was also welcomed by new freedom and independence. What are the details to the relationship? Well I must share them  with you to alleviate my thoughts inside.
            The friendship between Mr. Hausmann and I grew rapidly into romance. Yes, it is true that he was married to a woman by the name of Elfride Schaeffer. No matter, I put this fact aside and continued my relationship with him. During my relationship with Raoul, I obtained two abortions and continued my support for women’s reproductive control rights.
 Raoul helped involve me into the Berlin Dada movement, and I do thank him for that. However, he was physically abusive and this brought me much emotional pain. Our relationship was complicated and difficult to deal with. It did have its positive aspects at times when Hausmann impacted my works or guided me in my knowledge of Dadaism. With the positives, there were also the negative aspects. The fact I am a woman had always put restraints on me in the Berlin Dada group. Compared to Mr. Hausmann, I was only his lover but never sufficient enough to be his equal. At times it was very difficult to work with him because of his discrimination toward women.
In the time of this relationship, Mr. Hausmann and I began to work more with collages and worked together on different pieces. The separation from Raoul after seven years of romance was depressing. Nevertheless, I acquired more freedom as a woman, artist, and designer. Even before the break, I was well on my way to becoming an independent artist, depending solely on my expressions.
Today, I still continue my work as a Dadaist. I am happy to say that I have had a few exhibitions on my own. They are nothing big but I receive the chance to travel and see new places! In 1924, I was exhibited in the Soviet Union in my first Parisian visit. Russia had many new sites to view. It was all so startling to my eyes. The following year, I was exhibited in Deutschen Kunstgemeinschaft Berlin and took my second trip to Paris. Although my arts were not yet widely publicized, I was making progress. A few months ago, I met woman by the name of Til Brugman. She is a poet and studies the human language. Our friendship has quickly developed and I happen to think that she is morally attractive. Despite these thoughts, I still look for male companionship. Nonetheless, I am continuing my artwork to prepare for my upcoming exhibitions which I am quite excited for. Here are some examples of my early collages. Enjoy!
1924. Portraying the frustration and anger that women have. Depicts tension. I created this during the time of industrialization. I felt the need to speak for women and how this new society affects us.

Das Schöne Mädchen.“The Beautiful Girl,” 1920. As you can see, this is my background layout to my online journal. This piece is particularly one of my favorites. I enjoyed working on it and got a chance to incorporate many of my messages I convey through art. It depicts women in the midst of the society, rapid industrialization, and confusion out of chaos.

Entführung. “Abduction” 1925. One of my latest works. Here I placed a modern German woman in the middle of an African scene. She is seen with her mouth open and looking back, yet there is no turning back as the animal continues forward. I attempt to portray the new society consisting of Weimar Germany. This new movement is a shock to women but offers enthusiasm along with insecurity. 


Friday, March 18, 2011

March 13, 1921
            Along with being acquainted with Mr. Hausmann four years ago, I was also introduced to the Dada arts. Dadaism was a new form of art that emerged during World War I in 1916. This movement had its origin in Zurich and quickly corresponded with the outbreak of the devastating war. Dadaism was set forth to depict the purposelessness of life and contradict the society of reason. Raoul had taught me that in general, Dada artists used this movement as a way to protest the bourgeois society and show people that logic, along with bourgeois nationalists had caused the war. Thus much of my work and other Dada artists included irrationality and chaos. It was a new kind of “anti-art”, as many have learned to call it. Through this, we expressed our rejections and thoughts.
            Back in 1915, when I met Raoul, I also became his lover. I was introduced to the Berlin Dada movement, which consisted of its main leaders; John Heartfield, George Grosz, Johannes Baader, Richard Huelsenbeck, and of course Raoul Hausmann. Eventually, I became a Berlin Dadaist as well. I recall Raoul telling me that "Dada... wants over and over again movement: it sees peace only in dynamism." Quickly, I noticed that the Berlin Dada movement was much less “anti-art”. We had focused more on the social and political factors through the use of propaganda and satire. At this point, I was proud to say that I was the sole female member of the Berlin Dada movement. Yes, I did receive discrimination from several men, including Raoul. It was difficult to withstand, but what more could I do. I endured it because I had no other choice. This was my job, my life, and where I belonged. Contributing to my determination was the view of other female artists that aided me in moving forward with my art.  
            In the summer of 1920, the Berlin Dadaist held the First International Dada Fair. We exhibited over 200 works including other artists such as Otto Dix, Max Ernst, Rudolf Schlichter, and Johannes Baargeld. Sadly the exhibition was a disappointment. It seemed we had only made one recorded sale. Despite the lack of popularity, I continued my Dada work and the study of graphic arts. Although the Dada movement was my life, I still longed other forms of expression, thus graphic arts remained in my works.
Rough sketch dealing with the graphic arts. 1920s.
Tailors’s Flower, 1920
More graphic designs. It is clear to see that my job in the The Ullstein Press has impacted my work here. I express a more abstract feel with textures of sowing. It is easy for me to incorporate forms of art other than Dada because of my former job.

            Present day at thirty two years old. I am currently traveling in Prague with my lover, Raoul. Prague has proved to be a spectacular place. I continue to work on more Dadaist forms of art and look forward to more exhibitions.


Saturday, March 12, 2011

February 5, 1918

Early life.
            On account of my recent activities and my newfound passion in the Dada arts, I have decided to keep this online journal. It is open to all who wish to have insight to my world, my art, and my thoughts.
Me! 1920s. My ID card for the Ullstein Press
I was born Anna Therese Johanne Hoch of Gotha on November 1, 1889. I am now called Hannah Hoch for short. Gotha is a small town located in the core of Germany and is surrounded by bustling cities. Early in my life, I lived with my father who guided my way to education in the arts. He was a manager for an insurance company while my mother remained as an amateur painter. In 1912, I made my way to Berlin where I studied at the College of Arts and Crafts. Here, I remained for the next two years. Instead of studying my passion for the fine arts, I attended the study of glass design and graphic arts to satisfy the wishes of my father. Although I could not pursue my infatuation for the fine arts, I did very much enjoy my stay in Berlin.  It is an amazing and glorious place to reside, where every aspect is incorporated into the fine arts. The buildings are monumental and the art museums add to the beautiful scenery.
At the start of World War I, I left college to join the Red Cross. My intentions were not clear, even to myself, but I felt an urge to be an active woman during the crisis. The Red Cross organization was a totally new experience and surrounding. I was pleased to aid the prisoners but it was torture to see them suffer. Many were left wounded, with little hope of survival or ever returning to their loved ones. Our job was to protect to human life by aiding the wounded soldiers, provide hope, and guide them back to their homes. Although the horrors of war and despair remain in my mind, it was still an experience unlike no other. I became a part of something big and as a woman, the feeling was immense. I was bound to show society that women can achieve the same goals as men; we are all equal. In the Red Cross, there was no discrimination to who could join. This new fervor of women’s rights struck me as I left the Red Cross in 1915 to return to my studies.
With only a short time spent in the organization of the Red Cross, I was quickly back to schooling in the National Institute of the Museum of Arts and Crafts, where I enrolled into the graphics class. It was difficult to transition from a war environment to school, but I had eventually adjusted. After I graduated, I earned a job in the Ullstein Verlang or the Ullstein Press, where I designed dresses and embellished patterns for Die Dame and Die Praktische Berlinerin; the Lady and The Practical Berlin Woman. In this same year of 1915, I encountered a man by the name of Raoul Hausmann. He was born in Vienna, Austria and moved to Berlin to grow up as an artist. I developed a close friendship with him and he became a strong influence to my early years as an artist. Raoul was into a new movement of art called Dadaism. He acquired a position as a member of the Berlin Dada movement and impacted my decision on joining this group.
The term Dadaism is still quite new to me and even now, in 1918, I have much to learn about the Dada movement.