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Lecture 4: Industry, Democracy, and Modernist Art

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Jennifer Jenkins

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Lecture 4: Industry, Democracy, and Modernist Art
I.The “Weimar modern”
II.Political Ferment, Cultural Revolt
IV.The Cabaret Voltaire
V.“Was ist Dada?” (What is Dada?)
VI.Architecture in the Service of Social Renewal
VII.Changing Sexual Norms: The New Woman
VIII.Hannah Höch and the Art of Photomontage
*response papers only for participation, 3 in total out of the 5 remaining tutorials
*accessibility services? Maybe
-modern art in the Weimar Republic
-Berlin in the 1920s becomes the centre of all types of mod art, painting, sculpture, dancing
-in contrast to Paris being the centre of Impressionist art in the 19th c.
-called Expressionism
-ranges from the art of Dada to Kierchers Pedestrians on Street During Nighttime”
-other works like Dream City, Red Metropolis
-film also another medium, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, Metropolis, M
-architecture, the famous design school Bauhaus is est. in 1919 (???)
-stark, modern architecture no ornaments
-Magic Mountain” wins the Nobel Prize for Literature
-this art as a form of social activism
-radical break with tradition
-a deliberate rejection of what was taught in art schools
-has a lot to do with the war (I/II ???)
-experiments in form and content
-lots of social criticism
-satire common
-while Weimar Germany culturally very alive, this poli. revolt as an aftermath of the war, these
two things become intertwined with each other
-political fermentation and the cultural revolt
-young artists used their work for political criticism and activism
-as a complete rejection of the past, of imperial Germany and the Kaiser
-anger against tradition, conformity, and very sharp criticism of
the war and militarianism
-no more glorification of the war, quite unlike the celebratory monuments of the Franco-Prussian
War of 1870, quiet subdued
-art no longer a reflection of the outside world
-expressionism=> art is an outward manifestation of an inner experience, there is an emphasis on
psychological upheaval and psychological truth, with the idea that society is a surface
manifestation, that real truth lies deeper in the human experience
-move to turn inwards
-as an expression of the artists interior state
-as a spiritual awakening of the self, needed after the war
-many become pacifists, adhere to the idea of universal brotherhood” through
the universal truth of art
-gives the artist a new role in bringing about change, the artist as a guide to a new sense of being
to a new sense of values
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