Healing the Madness

"If there is horror, it is for those who speak indifferently of the next war. If there is hate, it is for the hateful qualities, not nations. If there is love, it is because this alone kept me alive." - Claude Cahun
Claude Cahun, Self-Portrait in Sailor Hat, 1920.











Dorothea Lange, Migrant Mother, Nipomo, California, 1936.











Midweed Pictorial spread using Migrant Mother image. October 17, 1936.










Bill Ganzel, Florence Owens Thompson and her daughters Norma, Katherine and Ruby, 1979.











"To me, photography is the simultaneous recognition, in a fraction of a second, of the significance of an event." - Henri Cartier Bresson
The Decisive Moment = that instant when the formal spatial relationships of the subjects reveal their essential meaning
  • The moment that expresses the essence of a situation
  • The instant that real life becomes artful
Henri Cartier-Bresson, Behind the Gare St. Lazare, Paris, 1932.










Golden period of American news photography 1930s to 1950s
development of halftone printing methods in the 1930s

halftone = reprographic technique that simulates continuous tone imagery through the use of equally spaced dots of varying size.
allows for the printing of photographic image and text on the same surface with the same printing plate
Telephotography = transmission of images via telephone




















Historic Context
1889 - 1910 Pictorialism
1912 Titanic sinks
1913 Armory Show in New York
1913 - 1933 German Weimar Republic
1914 - 1918 World War I
  Over 37 million deaths
1916 - 1923 Dadaism
1917 - 1920 Russian Revolution
1922 Formation of the Soviet Union
  Fascists under Mussolini seize power in Italy
1924 - 1940s Surrealism
1926 - 1953 Stalin gains control the Soviet Union
1929 Great Depression begins






















Dada = a nonsensical term used to define an international artistic and literary movement of the early 20th century.  Born of the widespread disillusionment engendered by World War I, it attacked conventional standards of aesthetics and behavior and stressed absurdity and the role of the unpredictable in artistic creation.

"While the thunder of guns rolled in the distance, we sang, painted, glued and composed for all our worth. We are seeking an art that would heal mankind from the madness of the age."
- Jean Arp
Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, Militarism, 1924. Photomontage.











Cut with the Kitchen Knife

Hannah Hoch, Cut with a Kitchen Knife Dada through the last
Weimar Beer-Belly Cultural Epoch of Germany
, 1919 - 1920.











Cut with the Kitchen Knife

Hannah Hoch organizes the photomontage into four quadrants:
  • Upper right = Anti Dada world
  • Lower right = The Great Dada World
  • Upper left = "Dada" springs from Einstein's head
  • Lower left = figure demands that the masses join Dada
Hannah Hoch, Cut with a Kitchen Knife Dada through the last Weimar Beer-Belly Cultural Epoch of Germany, 1919 - 1920.











Photomontage - a collage of separate photographs that is re-photographed so that the final image is converted back into a seemless photographic print

"The excess of Hell falls into the coffers of Pastor Klatt for innocent children of criminals."


Hanah Hoch, Dada Dance, 1922.Photomontage.











Claude Cahun
1893 - 1954


Claude Cahun, Self-portrait, c. 1928.











Claude Cahun, Self-portrait, c. 1928.
Claude Cahun, Marcel Moore, c. 1928.











Claude Cahun, Self-portrait, c. 1929.










Claude Cahun, Self-Portrait, c. 1929.
Claude Cahun, Self-Portrai, c. 1929.











Claude Cahun, Self-Portrait, c. 1929.


Joan Riviere's Womanliness as Masquerade, 1929










1900 Freud publishes The Interpretation of Dreams

Proposes that dreams reveal a person's unconscious desires
    • Recognizing and understanding these desires
      can help make sense of that person
    • Supported dream analysis, free association techniques
      and psychotherapy
      as methods for delving into the unconscious mind
Mid 1920s Surrealist movement begins in Paris
  • Surrealist approaches deeply indebted to Freudian theory
  • Advocated the transformation of human perception
    through greater contact with the imagination
  • Saw irrational thought and altered states as an
    anecdote to the reason that brought the horrors of WWI
Many Ray, Kiki, 1926.











Surrealists around Rene Magritte painting.  Published in La Revolution Surrealiste December 15, 1929.


"I do not see the woman hidden in the forest."









The Psychic Apparatus
id = instinct and pleasure without organization, present at birth
ego = your practical and logical mind, reason and common sense; tries to please the id while being realistic
superego = your moralizing mind; works in contradiction to the id and criticizes or prohibits drives and fantasies
The Psychoanalytic Iceberg











Ingres' Violin

Man Ray, Ingres' Violin, 1924.











Man Ray, Tears, 1930 - 1932.
Man Ray, Noir et Blanche, 1925.










Lee Miller
Man Ray, Lee Miller (Neck), 1930.
Man Ray, Anatomies, 1930.











The Bauhaus
1919 - 1933



Walter Gropius, Bauhaus Building, Dessau, Germany, 1925 - 1926.











Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, Bauhaus Balconies, 1926.











Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, Scandinavia, 1930.
Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, Merman, 1927











John Heartfield,  Adolf the Superman: Swallows Gold and Spits Out Junk, 1932.










John Heartfield, Thank Heaven He's a Vegetarian, 1936.
John Heartfield, And Yet She Is Moving!, 1943.











Hans Bellmer, La Poupee, 1936? Gelatin silver print.
Hans Bellmer, La Poupee, c. 1934. Gelatin silver print.











Hannah Hoch, Puppen, 1919.











Hans Bellmer, La Poupee, 1935 - 1937.

"Pure Arayan Family" Neues Volk Cover, 1938.











Hans Bellmer, Cepholopde, 1939.

Hans Bellmer, Woman Bound, 1958.











Hans Bellmer, La Poupee (The Doll), c. 1934. Gelatin silver print.