<< HEARTFIELD CHRONOLOGY - ALL YEARS1916 1917 1918 1919 1920

“People really don’t have any idea how difficult

it is to be a photomonteur.” 
János Reismann, Heartfield's Favorite Photographer, 1934
János Reismann, Heartfield's Favorite Photographer, 1934

Die Pleite (The Broke) and Jedermann sein eigner Fussball (Everyone His Own Football). Dada, 1919

Die Pleite, a political satirical John Heartfield George Grosz Dada collaboration, is founded with Wieland Herzfelde in 1919.

Heartfield becomes a co-editor of a satirical periodical Jedermann sein eigner Fussball (Everybody Has His Own Football). The somewhat too politically revolutionary Dada effort is banned by German censors after its first edition.

In 1919, John Heartfield is fired from his job as film maker for the UFA because he called for a strike following the murders of Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg. On January 1, 1919 Karl Liebknecht had founded the KPD (Communist Party Of Germany). The KPD members were young idealist who believe that communism was the solution to war and inequality. Artists around the world, including many of the finest writers and directors in Hollywood were also members of some form of the Communist Party. There were large May Day demonstrations in New York. These young idealists could not have imagined how communism would be co-opted by dictators like Josef Stalin. Their youthful dreams of a better world would become a nightmare of mass murder and oppression. Heartfield also suffered under the communist regime of East Germany (GDR).

Although Heartfield joined the KPD along with his brother, George Grosz, and many other young Berlin artists, he was, as he said later in life, “never a functionary.” His independent position were often at odds with the KPD hierarchy. He was criticized for not being “purely” communist.

Heartfield decides in 1919 that his artistic future is tied to collage and not film. He believes he can compact a sequence of film frames into one visual collage jolt to the senses for his audience.

Professor John J Heartfield is John Heartfield’s paternal grandson. Professor Heartfield presented Art & Politics, Politics & Art at the DADA WORLD FAIR in San Francisco. Please write to him about his live presentation regarding the relevance of his grandfather’s life and work to current events.

Dada Political Artist John Heartfield grandson, John Heartfield, Curator Official John Heartfield Exhibition