Hannah Höch: Unmasking Gender Myths of the Weimar Republic

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May 2023

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The work of artist Hannah Höch questions social constructions of gender in early twentieth century Germany. In her series From an Ethnographical Museum (1924-1930), Höch’s use of photomontage functions as a mode of shock to destabilize what were then normative values within art and gender. Through this series, she potentially comments on women's status as a lesser gender in Weimar German society, satirizing gender ideals of beauty. However, she does so by the figure of the African other, thus appropriating one culture for the uplift of another. The series is an ironic commentary on women's treatment in Weimar Germany — a culture that equated women to what society considered primitive people, such as those of the tribes in Africa and Oceania — prompting Höch to include tribal and ethnographic references in this series.

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