Book Interior Graphic Design
Deutschland, Deutschland, über alles
Malik Verlag, Berlin, Germany, 1929
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This work of John Heartfield’s Weimar Republic graphic design appeared on page 107 of the hugely successfully Kurt Tucholsky & John Heartfield collaboration Deutschland, Deutschland, über alles ( Germany, Germany, Above All ).
Published in 1929 by Neuer Deutscher Verlag, Tucholsky’s picture-survey was a devastating critique of the Weimar Republic.
Consider the perspectives and angles Heartfield manages to pull of in this famous collage art. His roots in German Dada art gave him the ability to mix mixed media into a seamless final montage. Heartfield was offered high-level work at some of Germany’s largest advertising agencies. He turned all these offers down. He wouldn’t not have restrictions on his art.
At first glance, it might appear the montage and its caption might be interpreted as somewhat sexist. A woman is inserted into an ink to produce “sweet ink.” However, the opposite is true. Heartfield is commenting on the use of sexuality to distract from more important political and societal issues. Consider the amount of coverage of Donald Trump’s boast of grabbing women’s private parts. The reports that he spied on undressed beauty contestants. That he forced his attentions on unwilling female business associates.
All of that seemed to make Trump less than an ideal choice for president of the United States. However, those news reports also seemed to help fade away his comments on race and his associations with white nationalist hate groups. They seemed to minimize the general opinion that he was inexperienced in government and unqualified to hold the most powerful political position in the world.
There’s no doubt Donal Trump’s words and his actions towards women were deplorable. However, Trump won the popular vote of white women in America. Those women were more focused on the issues he seemed to champion, such as being the most powerful force against terrorism. The were willing to overlook the media’s “sweet ink” regarding his misogynist behavior.