Prior to the start of project one, I did some research on two artistic movements, namely Dadaism and Russian Constructivism.
For Dadaism, it is an art movement in the early 20th century which was a reaction to World War I. It is considered a nonsensical kind of art style which was meant to question the purpose of art, the role of art and the role of the artist. Dadaism also shows mockery to the materialistic and nationalistic attitudes by creation of works to question about artistic creativity. There were works created using ready made objects and this was relatively easy to understand and achieve the goal of dada artists, which was to really question the purpose of art in society like what is considered art. If the art piece which is the readymade object is already made by someone else, then would exhibiting the object itself be considered art? Even if it is considered art, what value would it serve and what message does it bring across? With little to no manipulation of the object by the artist, what then is the role of the artist in regards to the ‘art piece’ itself?
When we talk about dada, we definitely have to look into artist Hannah Hoch regarding her art styles. I was trying to research about her techniques to see if I could apply any of it into my work. Hannah Hoch is a famous German DADA artist and she was one of the starters of photomontage. For her works, she mainly talks about the issue of gender and figure of woman through her photomontages, allowing her to gain popularity in the art scene. She was able to cleverly use unrelated images of cut-outs from magazine or newspapers to combine them into an art piece to create meaningful works. One of her more famous works would be ‘Cut with the Kitchen Knife Dada Through the Last Weimar Beer Belly Cultural Epoch in Germany’ in 1919 which opens a discussion about gender issues in the post war Weimar Germany.
Moving on to Russian Constructivism, it is actually an artistic and architectural philosophy. It was the last and most influential modern art movement to actually flourish in Russia in 20th century. The main focus of Russian Constructivism is to replace composition with construction. There were hence creation of works to carry out fundamental analysis of materials and forms of art, leading to design of fundamental objects. The point of the art was to demonstrate how the materials would actually behave to form an artwork according to the type of the material.