This section features links to web writers expressing their thoughts about political art, satiric collage. John Heartfield’s art has been described as precursor to graphic design on the Internet. As the Exhibition expands, it will feature more web writers exploring the legacy of John Heartfield, his effect on modern design, and the power of political art and satiric collage.
GABRIELS’S HORN by Gabriel Szoke
Gabe’s place to rant about design, media & activism.
Excerpt: “Being a realist, I don’t normally ponder hypothetical situations. But I sometimes wonder what the world would be like without the extraordinary contributions of people like Martin Luther King Jr., Susan B. Anthony, and Mohandas Gandhi, not to mention the contributions of ‘ordinary’ people like Rosa Parks, Crystal Lee Sutton (Norma Rae) and Karen Silkwood. But I shiver to think about the absence of individuals whose sacrifices are not widely recognized, because I suspect that it’s their contributions have had the biggest impact.
It’s the absence of people like John Heartfield that I worry about most.”
BABYLON IS BURNING by Larry Hanley, Associate Professor
English Department, San Francisco, CA
HOW JOHN HEARTFIELD INVENTED THE WEB; OR, THE MYSPACE READING GUIDE TO THE WASTE LAND
Excerpt: “Yet, as I thought about this strategy, it seemed that beginning with Heartfield only displaced the problem: I could see myself still having to instruct students in the principles and techniques of collage. Wasn’t there a way for students to discover the pleasures, purposes, and principles of collage aesthetics on their own? A way they could connect their own experience to Heartfield and then, through the “6-4-3 double play” of pedagogy, to Eliot? Thinking about the dynamics of “remediation” at the heart of collage aesthetics – – the ways collage appropriates and re-purposes visual materials from other sources – – pointed me, thanks to Bolter and Grusin, to the remediations that greet us every time we open up a web browser. Maybe collage wasn’t such an alien form.”
It’s astonishing how much material exists on the web regarding John Heartfield, while at the same time how difficult it can be to find it.
Search terms such as “dada” or “political art” and, incredibly, even “photomontage” fail to return a single reference to John Heartfield, easily among the most important and influential artists of the twentieth century.
The goal of The Official John Heartfield Exhibition is to repair the damage caused by the institution entrusted with John Heartfield’s artistic legacy.
There are some superior websites that highlight John Heartfield’s influence on almost every element of modern culture, including the Internet. This page is devoted to helping exhibition visitors reach some of those websites.