n De Arte - Dismantling colonial representation : the photomontages of Hannah Hoch : research




In 1922, Berlin Dadaist Hannah Höch started working on a series of seventeen small-sized photomontages entitled From an ethnographic museum, in which she reflected intensely on the encounter with non-European cultures in the de facto postcolonial Weimar Republic. Even though Germany lost its colonies after World War I, day-to-day life in the Weimar Republic was deeply influenced by, and infused with, colonial representation in the media, art and culture at large. Höch focused on the underlying ideological mindset of her time and, in an almost anachronistic way, formulated several relevant claims and ideas in an almost postcolonial manner. This article focuses on seven photomontages in the series. In detailed work analyses, it is demonstrated that Höch's photomontages are an enduring commentary on the encounters and collisions between 'white' and 'non-white', as well as between the Self and its Other, and that the deconstruction of identity and the questioning of stereotypes are the essence of her works.


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