Cut with the Photoshop Magnetic Lasso through the last Bush Culture of United States

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Cut with the Photoshop Magnetic Lasso through the last Bush Culture of United States
   
    Dada and artist Hanna Höch explores the technique of photomontage as a tool to express her position on the Dada movement during the Weimar Republic.  The Dada Movement originated in Europe by disillusioned artists looking to visually and verbally express their revolt against traditional values after the First World War.  The Weimer Republic refers to Germany between 1918 and 1933 when the German government was experiencing a shift from Imperialism to Capitalism.  Through their artwork, German Dada artists explore concerns and hopes within their society, as they embrace modernism. 
    Höch is best remembered as one of the pioneers of photomontages - the technique of making a composition with fragments of various pictures and photographs. Höch's immensely large photomontage Schmitt mit dem Kuchenmesser Dada durch die letzle weimer Bierbauchkulturepoche Deushklands (1919-1920), which translates from German to English to Cut with the Kitchen Knife Dada through the last Weimer Beer Bellu Culture Epoch of Germany, functions as a Dada manifesto on the politics of the Weimer society, specifically addressing the different roles of women and men in society. 
    Hoch's 114 x 90 cm photomontage is composed of many fragmented photographs and typography taken from local newspapers and magazines including Berliner Illustrite Zeitung, more commonly referred to as BIZ.  Höch integrates these images to superimpose heads with bodies of different people, as well as using of wheels and machinery to express the advancement in machinery. 
    I choose to update this piece of artwork to the age of the 21st century.  Using Adobe Photoshop, I merged images taken from the Internet. Höch physically cut images from magazines and pasted them on paper.  Photoshop is a technological advancement in the last few decades that digitally functions to cut and paste on the computer.  Originally I had planned to copy Höch's layout exactly, Photoshop-ing an image that would be the equivalent today that it was in 1919 when Höch composed her image.  However, after starting the project, I realized how much technology had advanced from programs like Photoshop.
    In Adobe Photoshop there are more features than just "cut" and paste."  One can also resize images, change colors, change opacities, etc.  I chose to experiment with more than just the cut/paste features to compose my composition titled Cut with the Photoshop Magnetic Lasso through the last Bush Culture of United States. 
    I started off by using images of the current president of the United States of America, George W. Bush., with images of chimpanzees that shows similar expressions, mocking our president as if he was a chimpanzee, only smart enough to perform how someone else told him to.  Next, I put an image of Angelina Jolie's face with blood dripping down from her lips.  As a celebrity, Angelina embodies an image of perfection to women as a perfect body and face, especially lips, but also tried to help the world adopting one child at a time.  In all seriousness, she tries to make a difference. 
    To make the parallel between my artwork and Höch's, I decided to mimic her approach in cutting heads and placing them on different bodies.  In Höch's artwork, she centers her artwork around two female leader of the early 20th century, Niddy Impekoven and Kathe Kollwitz. Höch uses Impekoven's body with Kollwitz's head to create the center character.  Impekoven was a dancer and Kollwitz was known for her Academic achievements.  I thought it was most appropriate to put a female leader in the center of my composition on a ballerina's body to aesthetically mimic Höch's artwork; I chose to use a image of Oprah's head.  Women of the 21st century are mesmerized by her accomplishments and she gives back to her community with one example being the all-girls' school that she built in Africa.  There are also images of Osama Bin ladin on a dancer's body in the top left corner, an image of Obama on supermans body, am image of Paris's Hilton's head on President' Bush's body, and imge of Bill Clinton's head on Hillary Clinton's body, an image of French President Nicolas Sarkozy's head on Paris Hilton's body, an image of Condoleezza Rice on a playmates body, an image of Angelina's head on Brad Pitt's body, and President George W. Bush's head on a dancer's body.  I also included an image of Britney Spear's head without a body to symbolize how celebrities do not always have the best head on their shoulders. 
    Höch also included images of groups and war during World War I.  I included images of September 11th as well as the Iraq War in the bottom right corner.   I felt that there are similarities between the two wars and it is interesting to compare them.  As for Höch's interest in technology, I chose to use images of iPod shuffles as well as a blackberry.  I think the blackberry is the direct response to technological advances in the last few years; the idea that one can receive emails to a handheld phone, and on that note to have a cell phone, is revolutionary.  Furthermore, I feel that Apple has created a successful industry with their laptops and iPods; aesthetically, it was nice to add some color of the iPod shuffles in the composition.  Furthermore, in Höch's piece, there was a chart about the war, therefore I found a chart about the cost of the Iraq War throughout the last few years and placed it in the upper left corner, near the image of Osama Bin Ladin's head. 
    Höch's title refers to the new modernized Germany.  Through this title, she identifies the movement of women who are taking the "kitchen knife," and literally "cutting" through the male dominant "beer belly" culture surrounding the Weimar society.  The "knife" has different interpretations as it alludes to the traditional knife a woman has in the kitchen but a knife can symbolize violence and mutiny.  This is where he ideas of cutting people in half become interesting to think about.  I chose to use the Photoshop magnetic lasso to highlight the area I wanted copied, and used buttons on the computer to copy and pasted.  That is why, if I think the idea of my artwork changed from hers, it was that the violence of the physical cutting was gone; the computer did the cutting, I just selected what areas to cut.  Furthermore, I took all the images from online where I typed in a name in the "google search" box, whereas Höch had to manually go through old newspapers and magazines to find specific people she wanted to incorporate in her piece. 
    When signing her piece, Höch used a cutout of her initials, "HH;" therefore, on the Internet, I found my initials "JF" to sign the image and placed it directly where she placed her signature, on the bottom left.  I believe Höch's Photomontage shows her understanding of the Weimer Republic, which is why I chose certain images to express my ideas and beliefs. 

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