|India d'Scarlett CAD 2009|
|Savannah d'Scarlett CAD 2012|
|Oscar Kokoschka's 'The Bride of the Wind' 1914|
'The Pillars of Society' by George Grosz 1926 shows a group portrait that manages to portray 'all the true faces of their masters' in one room.
The German officer wearing a monocle and a swastika, duelling scars on his cheek and a thin slit of a mouth aggressively exposing his teeth, the glass of beer and sabre exposing him as a drunken warmonger. The delusional thoughts coming out of his head show his lack of self awareness.
Behind him on the left is a portrait of press baron Alfred Hugenberg, wearing a chamber pot engraved with an Iron Cross as a hat symbolising the bias of his newspapers and Grosz's opinion of them. His blood stained palm is the bloody consequences of his newspapers' propaganda (symbolized by the pencil)
Behind him on the right is a portrait of Friedrich Ebert, the leader of the Social Democratic Party and the first President of Germany from 1919-1925. His leaflet reads, "Socialism is Working" and a flag of the Weimar Republic. Grosz gives him a pile of steaming faeces for brains.
In the background is a clergyman whose sanctimonious face is flushed with the long term effects of alcohol. With closed eyes he preaches from the safety of his room, blind to the reality of the burning city outside his window and ignoring the brutality of the civil war that unfolds behind his back.
|Raoul Haussmann 'Spirit of Our Times' 1920|
Early Dada anti-art is probably best portrayed in Raoul Haussmann's 1920 ‘Spirit of Our Time’. It is a satirical illustration for his statement that the average supporter of what he considered to be a corrupt society “has no more capabilities than those which chance has glued to the outside of his skull; his brain remains empty”.
Maybe we'd do well to reflect on this in today's society. Cat Girl's housemates, Dutch, German and Japanese, recently commented that their Australian workmates 'could be so draining sometimes - all they talk about is the weather and trivial stuff' - how many people you know have shut themselves off in the less dangerous position of intellectual muteness? What gets sacrificed in this numb social mindsoup is creativity and passion - is being safe because we fear embarrassment and humiliation for standing out worth it?