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For my update project I decided to concentrate on the ‘Dada’ art movement, and in particular, a piece by artist Hannah Hoch entitled, Cut with the Kitchen Knife Through the First Epoch of the Weimar Beer-Belly Culture 1919. It demonstrates the fundamental attitude of the movement, anti-war and completely fuelled by chaos.
Hannah Hoch 'Cut with a Kitchen Knife'
What I am specifically interested in is the idea that Dada was the result of the 1st world War and an entire generation of disfigured men who had been injured during the war. Their bodies were physically manipulated by industry and technology such as machine guns, and they were left broken men. My update project is thus focused on the broken men left as a result of the War on terror in Iraq and Afghanistan. But what is different now is that, whilst in the 1st world war men were left destroyed by technology, nowadays thanks to a highly evolved and advanced medical industry, soldiers can be re-created with technology. They are physically becoming hybrids of humans and machines with the use of prosthetics and complicated mechanical substitutes for limbs and body reconstructions.
Thus, I decided to make an updated digital collage of the piece using photographs of amputated soldiers with prosthetic limbs, with the pixelated images forming to make up the Dada original piece. The idea itself is simple, and was not supremely difficult to orchestrate, but this was deliberate in reference to Hoch’s original collage that was made with newspaper clippings and copy and pasted by hand. In this way my update project is a transmuted version of hers through time and the medium of the web. I thought about ways I would display the art, considering making it a framed canvas, yet, in the end I thought it more appropriate to have it displayed as a web image which one could zoom in and out to see the collage fully. Below are examples of these injuries, and examples of the images I used in my project.