Club Dada Members, such as George Grosz and John Heartfield, weren’t simply a collection of dazzling genius. They were rebels. Their parties were complete with cocaine, alcohol, and intense political arguments. Grosz was a dandy who was fond of flamboyant outfits and makeup. Heartfield was a one-man political force.
John Heartfield gave this account of German Dada art rebels in an interview with Roland Märx in 1967.
“And it even went so far that we disrupted our friend Theodor Däuber, when he was giving readings, a great poet with his Nordlichtgedichte (Northern Lights Poems) , yes, a very pleasant, likeable person, a great man whom we loved very much. […] He would give reading, we would disrupt them, and he would always say, ‘Oh, tonight. The Dadaists are coming.’ That became our cue […] we would put on our performance. […] An old codger with a goatee would come along […] so inhibited and decrepit. Then we would say, ‘you’re the very one; didn’t Chaplin send you? Did Chaplin send you? We’ll have to telegraph our thanks right away.’ […] And so we engaged him on the spot. Then we had a cardboard box. We had a big wreath of violets and those dear Dadaists of yours. Those dear Dadaists friend of your put it in the cardboard box with silk and ribbons. We then ordered the man to carry it up front. And that was an order, when we gave him the signal, when we stood up and sang. We drummed that into him. Then he had to go in, go through the doors, carry the box up front to the rostrum when Däuber was reading the wonderful Nordlichtgedichte (Northern Lights Poems). And, would you believe it, it happened. The door opened and he came in, old and frail ~ wonderful ~ went forward with the thing, and we stood up and sang, “We’ll make you a bridal wreath of azure silk.”
Everyone froze. He too, the messenger-boy. He stumbled. The box fell open, the wreath fell out. Our friend Däuber fled to the rear. The reading broke up.”
The John Heartfield Exhibition’s format is designed to allow for modifications and additions. If you’ve attended an exhibition of John Heartfield’s art, please with your experience.