445 german expressionism


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slide 30 --Hitler comes into power

slides 34-49--the Die Brücke movement

slides 50-67-- the Der Blaue Reiter (The Blue Rider) movement --Wassily Kandinsky/Franz Marc/Paul Klee

slides 68-96--Expressionism (Otto Dix, George Grosz**, Kathe Kollowitz)

slide 97--Weimar Years begin

slide 100 -- Ernst von Wolzogen --founded 1st cabaret in Berlin in 1901**

slides 102-109-- Grosz-Metropolis and the German word Kabarett**

slides 116-130--Anita Berber**

slides 134 - 168 -- more on Expressionist and Anti-Expressionist art, Grosz, Kirchner, the spirit of the Weimar Years, Fritz Lang's Metropolis

**I find that George Grosz and Anita Berber are particularly relevant to our show!

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445 german expressionism

  1. 1. German Expressionism
  2. 2. German Empire 1740 - 1871
  3. 3. The Revolution of 1848 <ul><li>A strong desire for liberal reform had developed among the educated and wealthy bourgeoisie </li></ul><ul><li>Peasants resented the feudal dues </li></ul><ul><li>Unemployment among small artisans made them join the revolutionary cause in hopes of secure jobs. </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>The failed revolution was a drawback for the national cause----the demand for unification revived in the late 1850s as a consequence of industrial and economic development. </li></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>Otto Von Bismarck detested the liberals who were pushing to strengthen the power of parliaments, work toward German unification, and limit military spending for the army. </li></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>Napoleon III, declared war on Prussia July 19, 1870 - the biggest mistake of his life. </li></ul><ul><li>The war with France was concluded by the Treaty of Frankfurt in May 1871. France had to cede its eastern provinces Alsace and Lorraine to the new empire and pay high reparations until 1875. </li></ul>
  7. 8. <ul><li>At Versailles on 18 January 1871 Wilhelm I proclaimed the German Empire. </li></ul>
  8. 9. <ul><li>In 1871, Germany’s 39 separate states, after centuries of discord, united. </li></ul>
  9. 10. <ul><li>In 1871, there were 41 million citizens in the German Empire. In 1913 there were nearly 68 million, an increase of more than half. </li></ul>
  10. 11. <ul><li>Steel production multiplied by 12 in 30 years. </li></ul>
  11. 12. in 30 years… <ul><li>Coal production multiplied by 5 times </li></ul><ul><li>Manufacturing multiplied by 4 times </li></ul><ul><li>Exports multiplied by 3 times </li></ul><ul><li>Exports of machinery multiplied by 5 times </li></ul><ul><li>In 1914, Germany, after America, was the most powerful industrial nation in the world. </li></ul>
  12. 13. WWI <ul><li>The origins of World War I included conflicts over four decades. </li></ul><ul><li>Militarism, alliances, imperialism, and nationalism. </li></ul>
  13. 14. <ul><li>The immediate cause of the war lay with the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria. </li></ul>
  14. 15. <ul><li>The crisis did not exist in a void; it came at the end of a long series of diplomatic clashes between the Great Powers. </li></ul><ul><li>These clashes can be traced to changes in the balance of power in Europe since 1870. </li></ul>
  15. 18. <ul><li>Wilhelm II , Prince Frederick William Victor Albert of Prussia 1859 –1941 </li></ul><ul><li>The last German Emperor and King of Prussia ruling from June 1888 to Nov. 1918. </li></ul>
  16. 19. <ul><li>9% of Germany's pre-war population were killed or wounded. </li></ul>
  17. 20. <ul><li>Article 231 (the &quot;War Guilt Clause&quot;) lays sole responsibility for the war on Germany, which would be accountable for all the damage done to civilian population of the allies. </li></ul><ul><li>Article 227 charges former German Emperor, Wilhelm II with supreme offence against international morality. He is to be tried as a war criminal. </li></ul>
  18. 21. <ul><li>Germany had to take full responsibility for the war. </li></ul><ul><li>Germany’s army was reduced to 100,000 men. </li></ul><ul><li>Germany could have no air force or submarines, and was limited to six large ships. </li></ul><ul><li>Germany to loose territory on all sides, & split in two by new nation of Poland. </li></ul><ul><li>Germany to lose all her colonies. </li></ul>
  19. 22. <ul><li>The total sum of war reparations demanded from Germany—226 billion Reichsmarks in gold—was decided by an Inter-Allied Reparations Commission. </li></ul><ul><li>In 1921, it was reduced to 132 billion Reichsmarks. </li></ul>
  20. 23. AFTER WWI <ul><li>The Kaiser abdicated and left Germany </li></ul><ul><li>A power vacuum - there is no established form of government </li></ul><ul><li>Millions of German workers killed or seriously injured during the war </li></ul><ul><li>Germany became an international pariah </li></ul>
  21. 24. <ul><li>Kaiser Wilhelm was hated the world over. During the peace negotiations at Versailles, representatives of the Allies wanted Wilhelm extradited and tried as a war criminal. </li></ul><ul><li>Queen Wilhelmina of The Netherlands rejected the Allies' demands to turn the former Kaiser over to them for trial. </li></ul>
  22. 25. Consequences <ul><li>Political instability, uprisings against the republic even before it is properly formed. </li></ul><ul><li>Economic ruin, devastated economy. </li></ul><ul><li>Valueless currency, economic crisis – hyper-inflation. </li></ul><ul><li>Unemployment. Millions of soldiers returned home to find no jobs available. </li></ul>
  23. 26. Problems 1919-1924 <ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Anger directed at the government for signing the Treaty of Versailles </li></ul><ul><li>Economic problems - all profit sent directly to the Allies as reparations pay-outs </li></ul><ul><li>Rise of extremist groups to wrestle power from the de-stabilized government </li></ul>
  24. 27. <ul><li>Mistrust of government and animosity towards it from it’s inception. </li></ul><ul><li>Refusal of the rest of the world to accept Germany. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul>
  25. 28. <ul><li>Germany in a desperate situation. The terms of the Treaty of Versailles crippled the economy and prevent German recovery after the war. </li></ul><ul><li>This in turn leads to the new, Weimar, government being unable to restore pre-war conditions. </li></ul><ul><li>Animosity towards those who signed the treaty grows and many German people look for people to blame for the crisis, leading to theories of ‘the stab in the back’. </li></ul><ul><li>The new government, already under fire, is likely to fail in it’s duty to provide security , prosperity and comfort given the conditions that it has inherited. </li></ul>
  26. 29. <ul><li>37 million casualties, 9 million dead. </li></ul><ul><li>Germany not prepared for defeat---a sense of injured national pride. </li></ul><ul><li>Military and political leaders responsible claimed Germany was &quot;stabbed in the back&quot; by its leftwing politicians, Communists, and Jews. </li></ul>
  27. 30. <ul><li>After serving unremarkably in WWI, Hitler immersed himself in the German nationalist politics. </li></ul><ul><li>In 1921, he claimed control of the German Workers Party and renamed it the National Socialist German Workers Party, and gave himself the title of Führer. </li></ul>
  28. 31. &quot;National Socialism: The Organized Will of the Nation.&quot; <ul><li>1925 to 1927, the Nazi Party failed to make inroads in the cities. </li></ul><ul><li>Shifted to rural and small town areas and fueled anti-semitism </li></ul><ul><li>Expropriation of Jewish property </li></ul><ul><li>Party became identified with young men of the lower middle classes. </li></ul>
  29. 32. <ul><li>Versailles, unemployment, war guilt lie, Marxism, Bolshevism, lies and betrayal, inflation, corruption, Barmat, Kutistker, Sklarek [the last three Jews involved in major financial scandals], prostitution, terror, civil war…. </li></ul>
  30. 33. <ul><li>The Great Depression 1929-worldwide economic, social, and psychological consequences. </li></ul><ul><li>The Weimar democracy unable to cope with national despair. </li></ul><ul><li>Unemployment doubled from three million to six million, or one in three, by 1932. </li></ul><ul><li>Adolf Hitler knew his opportunity had arrived. </li></ul>
  31. 34. <ul><li>The propellers rumble in the distant clouds </li></ul><ul><li>Nations dissolve. Books become witches </li></ul><ul><li>The social shrinks to minute complexes </li></ul><ul><li>Art is dead. The hours spin faster </li></ul><ul><li>O my age so utterly divided </li></ul><ul><li>So without star, so poor in vital knowledge. </li></ul><ul><li>Wilhem Klemm </li></ul>
  32. 35. Impulses that motivated Expressionism <ul><li>The cry of humanity in the face of an increasingly dehumanized, urban, technological and industrial environment. </li></ul><ul><li>A conscious rebellion by outraged youth against moral repression and institutional authority. </li></ul>
  33. 36. Early Movements <ul><li>Die Brücke (The Bridge) was a group of German expressionist artists formed in Dresden in 1905. </li></ul><ul><li>Founding members were Fritz Bleyl, Erich Heckel, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner and Karl Schmidt-Rottluff. </li></ul><ul><li>Later members were Emil Nolde, Max Pechstein and Otto Mueller. </li></ul>
  34. 37. Impulses that motivated Expressionism <ul><li>The cry of humanity in the face of an increasingly dehumanized, urban, technological and industrial environment. </li></ul><ul><li>A conscious rebellion by outraged youth against moral repression and institutional authority. </li></ul>
  35. 38. Kirchner,Marcella - 1910 <ul><li>Die Brücke aimed to overthrow traditional academic style and find a new form of artistic expression, which would form a bridge between the past and the present. </li></ul>
  36. 40. <ul><li>Ernst Ludwig Kirchner flouted bourgeois social conventions and sought to create a bohemian world within the space of his studios. </li></ul><ul><li>Erna Schilling, Kirchner’s life-partner, seated on the bed in the background. </li></ul><ul><li>An unknown woman in white and the naked dancer occupy the foreground. </li></ul>
  37. 42. <ul><li>The group composed a manifesto (mostly Kirchner's work), carved on wood and asserted a new generation, </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;who want freedom in our work and in our lives, independence from older, established forces.&quot; </li></ul>
  38. 43. Kirchner – Marzella 1910 <ul><li>In September and October 1906, the first group exhibition was held, focused on the female nude. </li></ul>
  39. 44. <ul><li>Panama Girls – 1910 </li></ul><ul><li>One of several dance-hall paintings by Kirchner. </li></ul><ul><li>He chose the subject, exotic dancers considered shocking by proper bourgeois society, as a deliberate provocation. </li></ul><ul><li>His celebration of low life and uninhibited behavior intentionally targeted established tastes. </li></ul>
  40. 45. Pechstein, Young Woman With Red Fan 1910 <ul><li>From 1933 on Pechstein was defamed by the Nazis for his artistic work. </li></ul><ul><li>326 of his pictures in German museums were confiscated. </li></ul>
  41. 46. <ul><li>Emil Nolde was a leading Expressionist painter. His membership in the artistic group Die Brücke was short-lived. </li></ul><ul><li>The Family- 1917, a woodcut he executed after returning from a trip to the South Seas in 1913-14 is influenced by the strong lines of African, Asian, and “tribal” art, Nolde’s work illustrates how European colonialism influenced artistic sensibilities. </li></ul>
  42. 47. The Prophet -1912 <ul><li>From 1941 on he was prohibited from painting at all. </li></ul>
  43. 48. Nolde, Masks 1911
  44. 49. <ul><li>The Die Brücke movement ended </li></ul><ul><li>in 1913. </li></ul>
  45. 50. Der Blaue Reiter <ul><li>Der Blaue Reiter (The Blue Rider) was a group of artists from Munich, Germany. lasting from 1911 to 1914. </li></ul>
  46. 51. <ul><li>The Blue Rider artists favored a softer, more lyrical, and more abstract strain of Expressionism, which has been called &quot;south German.&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>Members of Der Blaue Reiter were united by their use of color for both spiritual and symbolic ends and their interest in medieval and folk art. </li></ul>
  47. 52. <ul><li>Wassily Kandinsky, Franz Marc, August Macke, Alexej von Jawlensky, Marianne von Werefkin, Lyonel Feininger, Albert Blochand others founded the group in response to the rejection of Kandinsky's painting </li></ul><ul><li>Last Judgement from an exhibition. </li></ul><ul><li>Paul Klee joined later. </li></ul>
  48. 53. <ul><li>Der Blaue Reiter lacked a central artistic manifesto, but was centered around Kandinsky and Marc. </li></ul>
  49. 54. <ul><li>The name of the movement comes from a painting by Kandinsky created in 1903. </li></ul><ul><li>For Kandinsky, blue is the color of spirituality: the darker the blue, the more it awakens human desire for the eternal. </li></ul>
  50. 55. <ul><li>It is also claimed that the name could have derived from Marc's enthusiasm for horses and Kandinsky's love of the color blue. </li></ul>
  51. 56. <ul><li>Franz Marc Tower of Blue Horse – 1913 </li></ul><ul><li>(missing since 1945) </li></ul>
  52. 57. Vasily Kandinsky <ul><li>Credited with painting the first modern abstract works. </li></ul><ul><li>Kandinsky sometimes used musical terms to designate his works; he called many of his most spontaneous paintings &quot;improvisations&quot;, while he entitled more elaborated works &quot;compositions&quot;. </li></ul>
  53. 58. Improvisation - 1913 <ul><li>The influence of music was very important to the birth of abstract art---music is abstract by nature—it does not try to represent the exterior world but rather to express in an immediate way the inner feelings of the human soul. </li></ul>
  54. 59. <ul><li>This idea developed out of the 19 th Century notion of an equivalence between the color spectrum and the musical scale. </li></ul>
  55. 60. Composition VII - 1913
  56. 61. Franz Marc <ul><li>“ I am trying to intensify my feeling for the organic rhythm of all things, to achieve pantheistic empathy with the throbbing and flowing of nature's bloodstream in trees, in animals, in the air. “ </li></ul>
  57. 62. <ul><li>“ Blue is the male principle, astringent and spiritual. Yellow is the female principle, gentle, gay and spiritual. </li></ul><ul><li>Red is matter, brutal and heavy and always the color to be opposed and overcome by the other two.” </li></ul>
  58. 63. Yellow Cow -1911
  59. 64. Tiger - 1912 <ul><li>Franz Marc was one of the most influential Expressionist painters, known for his portrayals of animals, he felt intimately connected to them. </li></ul><ul><li>“ We should contemplate the soul of the animal to divine its way of sight.” </li></ul><ul><li>Marc volunteered to fight in World War I in 1914; he was killed near Verdun in 1916. </li></ul>
  60. 65. Paul Klee <ul><li>“ I came to feel a deep trust in him (Kandinsky). He is somebody, and has an exceptionally beautiful and lucid mind.” </li></ul><ul><li>The association opened his mind to modern theories of color. </li></ul>
  61. 66. Southern Garden 1914 <ul><li>“ Color has taken possession of me; no longer do I have to chase after it, I know that it has hold of me forever... Color and I are one. I am a painter.&quot; </li></ul>
  62. 68. Expressionism <ul><li>Apocalyptic visions and Utopian aspirations led to distorted canvases intense introspection. </li></ul><ul><li>A product of social and spiritual torment, angst and gloom. </li></ul><ul><li>Otto Dix, The Nun - 1914 </li></ul>
  63. 69. Wilhelm Heinrich Otto Dix <ul><li>Noted for his ruthless and harshly realistic depictions of Weimar society and of the brutality of war, he, along with George Grosz, is widely considered one of the most important artists of the New Objectivity. </li></ul>
  64. 70. Flanders, Otto Dix <ul><li>Dix was committed to depicting the horrors of war – and the cruelties of modern society. Maimed veterans, prostitutes, and victims of sexual abuse, poverty, and crime . </li></ul><ul><li>By 1936, the National Socialists had dismissed him from his professorial position at the Dresden Art Academy, </li></ul>
  65. 72. Lady with Mink and Veil
  66. 76. George Grosz <ul><li>Known for his savage images of Berlin life in the 1920s. </li></ul><ul><li>He was a prominent member of the Berlin Dada and New Objectivity group during the Weimar Republic before he emigrated to the United States in 1932. </li></ul>
  67. 77. <ul><li>Grosz mixed the simplicities of popular illustration with Expressionist distortion, Futurist fragmentation, and the accuracy of the realism known as the Neu Sachlichkeit </li></ul><ul><li>(New Objectivity). </li></ul>
  68. 78. Suicide 1926 <ul><li>In Grosz's art, the modern city is a hellish, jostling place….. </li></ul><ul><li>( Grosz tried to commit suicide in 1917, He was sent to an army hospital. Then he was court-martialed for insubordination and sentenced to death. </li></ul><ul><li>One of his patrons, Count Kessler, saved him from execution. </li></ul><ul><li>He was diagnosed as suffering from shell-shock and was discharged from the German army.) </li></ul>
  69. 79. <ul><li>… overpopulated by swinish capitalists, brutish soldiers, </li></ul>
  70. 80. Unemployment, 1933 <ul><li>and degraded workers. </li></ul>
  71. 81. <ul><li>Women are prostitutes or nouveaux rich hags. </li></ul>
  72. 82. The Pillars of Society representatives of state authority in the Weimar Republic: <ul><li>the earless lawyer with his dueling scar and opaque monocle, characterized as one of the 'old guard; he holds a large beer glass and a foil to indicate his status, from his opened skull an incorrigible cavalry officer from the former eastern territories emerges. </li></ul><ul><li>The journalist resembles the press baron Alfred Hugenberg, who was nicknamed 'the spider’ as a sign his limited mental capacity, he is shown with a chamber pot on his head. </li></ul><ul><li>Leaning on the Reichstag is the Social Democratic parliamentarian clutching his German national flag and a flyer bearing the slogan 'Socialism is Work' (no strikes, please!). </li></ul><ul><li>The boozy military chaplain is the representative of the country's generals. Hypocritically preaching peace, he tolerates murder and manslaughter by the Reichswehr behind his back. </li></ul><ul><li>In the distance, a house goes up in flames; years later, it will be the turn of the Reichstag and the country's synagogues. </li></ul>
  73. 84. Remember Uncle August, the Unhappy Inventor <ul><li>“ In those days (after the First World War) we were all Dadaists. If the word meant anything at all, it meant seething discontent, dissatisfaction and cynicism. </li></ul><ul><li>Defeat and political ferment always give rise to that sort of movement.” </li></ul><ul><li>He broke with the Dadaists in 1923. </li></ul>
  74. 85. <ul><li>Grosz depicted his fellow citizens as automatons animated by greed, cruelty, and lust. </li></ul><ul><li>, the well-dressed of Berlin are shown against the backdrop of a restaurant whose patrons can be glimpsed through the red velvet curtain of the window display. </li></ul><ul><li>A beggar, one of the two million crippled war veterans who roamed the streets, sits on the lower left holding up his hat. </li></ul><ul><li>By the end of 1930, there were five million people without a job in Germany. </li></ul>
  75. 86. <ul><li>He was taken to court three times accused of blasphemy and affronting public morals…. Grosz went to America in 1932. </li></ul>
  76. 87. Käthe Kollwitz <ul><li>Recognized early in her life as one of Germany's most prominent graphic artists, Kollwitz was appointed as the first female professor and member of the Prussian Academy of Fine Arts in 1919. </li></ul>
  77. 88. <ul><li>The political stance of her work brought her to the attention of the Nationalist Socialist Party and she was forced to resign from the Academy in 1933. </li></ul><ul><li>She was later threatened with deportation to a concentration camp for giving an interview to a Soviet newspaper. </li></ul>
  78. 89. <ul><li>The events of her life fuelled the emotional power of her work in which she strove to highlight and protest injustice. </li></ul>
  79. 90. <ul><li>Kollwitz's art expresses her compassion. She makes appeals on behalf of the working poor, the suffering and the sick. </li></ul>
  80. 94. <ul><li>Her work serves as an indictment of the social conditions in Germany during the late 19th and early 20th century. </li></ul>
  81. 95. <ul><li>In 1934 she was forbidden to exhibit, and her art was classified as &quot;degenerate.&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>Despite these events, Kollwitz remained in Berlin. </li></ul>
  82. 96. <ul><li>In 1942, aged 75, her grandson was killed in action, and the following year her home was bombed. </li></ul><ul><li>She died in 1945 shortly before the signing of the armistice. </li></ul>
  83. 97. The Weimar Years: Despair and Decadence
  84. 98. <ul><li>The Weimar years were times of social and artistic freedom, making Berlin the most exciting city in Europe. </li></ul><ul><li>Amid Shadows of War, a Cultural Decadence ROBERTA SMITH, November 24, 2006 NY Times </li></ul>
  85. 99. <ul><li>The fall of the monarchy in 1918, brought about the end of censorship, but instead of addressing current issues and politics what the public got was a flood of nudity and obscenity. </li></ul>
  86. 100. Ernst von Wolzogen <ul><li>Founded the first German cabaret in Berlin in 1901. </li></ul><ul><li>Wolzogen modeled his new creation on French cabaret, but strove for a more literary focus – an intention made clear by his chosen name, “Überbrettl,” an play on philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche’s concept of the &quot;Übermensch&quot; (roughly translated as “overman&quot;). </li></ul>
  87. 101. Otto Dix -Triptych
  88. 102. Grosz - Metropolis
  89. 111. Otto Dix - Karl Krall 1923 <ul><li>The Expressionists are known for their uninhibited response to human sexuality and provocative images of cabaret culture. </li></ul><ul><li>Twisted and contorted hands also figure prominently in Dix's cruel portrait of the Jeweler Karl Krall. </li></ul><ul><li>Vibrant tones highlight this dandy with a birdlike chest, standing in an effeminate pose, with a reddish-gray cherubic face and hands splayed suggestively on his hips. </li></ul>
  90. 112. … the frenzy, gender-bending and taboo-breaking of Weimar Berlin.
  91. 113. Otto Dix
  92. 114. Otto Dix
  93. 115. Otto Dix - The Salon I
  94. 116. <ul><li>Anita Berber (1899-1928) </li></ul><ul><li>famous in 1920s Berlin. Portrait by Otto Dix </li></ul><ul><li>She danced (nude) in nightclubs, seduced a wide majority of the the population (both male and female), appeared (also nude) in soft porn silent films, drank one bottle of cognac per day, married three times, was addicted to cocaine and opium, was never seen in public without heavy make-up, talked incessantly, lied like a rug and, predictably, died at an early age. </li></ul>
  95. 118. <ul><li>She could often be seen in Berlin's hotel lobbies, nightclubs and casinos, naked apart from an elegant sable wrap, with a pet monkey and a silver brooch packed with cocaine. </li></ul>
  96. 119. <ul><li>Because of her reputation much of her work as a dancer, performance artist, actress and writer has been overlooked and her place as an artist and cultural producer ignored. </li></ul>
  97. 120. <ul><li>Berber created some of her best known choreographies, the dark and macabre with her partner and then husband Sebastian Droste. </li></ul><ul><li>The “dances” dealt with drugs, martyrdom, pain and death. </li></ul>
  98. 121. <ul><li>Berber conveyed desire, vulnerability and raw emotion through dance and used nudity on stage to remove artifice. </li></ul>
  99. 122. She used the visual codes to create the “look” of Expressionism---bright color, darkly kohled eyes, angular movements.
  100. 123. Illustration of Berber’s costume for “Cocaine” <ul><li>In 1923 she and Droste publisher a book of poetry connected to their dances called, Dances of Vice, Horror and Ecstacy. </li></ul><ul><li>It circulated in the artistic community and Hannah Höch the famous Dadaist collage artist owned one. </li></ul>
  101. 124. <ul><li>Her nudity was more about emotional rawness. </li></ul><ul><li>“ The dance was tormented…more agony, pain and despair.” Jencik </li></ul>
  102. 125. <ul><li>The costume was more about pain and despair than the erotic. </li></ul>
  103. 126. Sebastian Droste
  104. 127. <ul><li>Droste as St. Sebastian </li></ul>
  105. 129. <ul><li>Berber represented human isolation in the contemporary world. </li></ul><ul><li>“ A re-reading of Berber’s work can provide insight into the Weimar Republic. </li></ul><ul><li>It was marked by economic and political turmoil, including hyper-inflation, dpression, political assasinations and the rise of the Nazi Party.” </li></ul><ul><li>Susan Laikin Funkenstein </li></ul>
  106. 130. <ul><li>Her performances were so powerfully moving that they were spoken of as “revolutionary”. </li></ul><ul><li>( German modern dance after WWI attempted to present the nude body as a sign of a liberated, modern identity.) </li></ul>
  107. 134. Anti-Hero/Expressionist Artist
  108. 135. <ul><li>“ The 1920s were a terrifying decade in Germany…. Weimar Republic was barely in control of a country that was being broken by war reparations. </li></ul><ul><li>Revolutions, attempted coups and assassinations occurred like clockwork; order was maintained or restored, often brutally, by paramilitary groups like the Freikorps, </li></ul>
  109. 136. <ul><li>many of whom later became Nazi Brownshirts with which the government tried to circumvent the troop limits of the Treaty of Versailles.” </li></ul>
  110. 137. 1915 Self-portrait Ernst Ludwig Kirchner <ul><li>Painted after his nervous breakdown and dismissal from the military. </li></ul><ul><li>The fictive stump on his right arm represents war trauma and the anxiety he felt about the effect of the war on his art. </li></ul><ul><li>He feared that his failing mental health would prevent him from painting. </li></ul><ul><li>Kirchner committed suicide in 1938, after the Nazis had branded his artwork “degenerate.” </li></ul>
  111. 138. <ul><li>George Grosz, Eclipse of the Sun , 1926 </li></ul><ul><li>an indictment of the military-industrial complex and materialism, featuring an industrialist, a general, and 4 headless members of the bourgeoisie, all under a sun that is obscured by a dollar sign. </li></ul>
  112. 139. Expressionism <ul><li>Expressionism was more than just an artistic revolution. </li></ul><ul><li>The reach of its activities extended into most areas of human intellectual endeavor, social structures, music, psychology, film, theatre, architecture, dance, performance, painting and literature. </li></ul>
  113. 140. <ul><li>Expressionism was born in painting and poetry before the war, but the postwar period offered a mass audience for what had been an avant-garde phenomenon. </li></ul><ul><li>Expressionism presents a world violently distorted under the pressure of intense personal moods, ideas, and emotions. </li></ul>
  114. 141. <ul><li>“ German man is the supreme example of demoniac* man. Demoniac indeed seems the abyss which cannot be filled, the yearning which cannot be assuaged, the thirst which can’t be slaked.” </li></ul><ul><li>Leopold Ziegler </li></ul><ul><li>*pertaining to the nature of supernatural power </li></ul>
  115. 142. <ul><li>German Expressionism is best known through its cinematic masterpieces: Robert Wiene's The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1919), F.W. Murnau's Nosferatu (1922), and Fritz Lang's Metropolis (1926). </li></ul>
  116. 143. <ul><li>“ Mind, Spirit, Vision and Ghosts seem to gush forth, exterior facts are continually being transformed into interior elements and psychic events are exteriorized.” </li></ul><ul><li>This is the atmosphere of German cinema. </li></ul>
  117. 144. <ul><li>“… the tortured soul of contemporary Germany seemed , with their overtones of death, horror and nightmare, the reflection of its own grimacing image, offering a kind of release.” </li></ul>
  118. 145. <ul><li>Patterns of sinister shadows, an obsession with automatized, trance-like states, the eruption of irrational and chaotic forces from beneath the surface of a mechanized modern world… </li></ul>
  119. 146. <ul><li>Male anxieties about issues of power in Weimar were determined by centuries of patriarchal social relations but were triggered by economic, social and political modernization. </li></ul>
  120. 148. <ul><li>&quot; It's easy to see how obsessive themes would appeal to the collective psyche of a nation traumatized by defeat in war and the loss of control represented by hyperinflation and mass unemployment. “ </li></ul>
  121. 149. <ul><li>“ German expressionism also looks backward to German Romanticism, with its emphasis on the uncanny, the sense that the world is haunted by forces we can neither understand or control. </li></ul>
  122. 150. <ul><li>To experience the uncanny is to sense the strangeness of an apparently familiar situation. </li></ul><ul><li>From this experience it's a short step to a sense of entrapment, victimization, conspiracy. </li></ul>
  123. 152. <ul><li>Fritz Lang’s, Die Nibelungen (1924) was shown in 2 parts, Siegfried and Kriemhild's Revenge . Siegfried is one of the most painterly of his compositions, drenched in the ideology of the German Romantic movement, and the influence of 19th C. painter Caspar David Friedrich. </li></ul><ul><li>Siegfried was such an impressive depiction of the Norse myth that it is said to have brought Adolph Hitler to tears. </li></ul>
  124. 153. <ul><li>There is a paranoid atmosphere in classic German cinema. In From Caligari to Hitler , Siegfried Kracauer interpreted this obsession with hidden and uncontrollable forces as both a symptom of the trauma of German defeat in the WWI and a premonition of Nazism. </li></ul>
  125. 154. <ul><li>Here was a sinister sort of &quot;re-enchantment of the world: </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;The hecatombs of young men fallen in the flower of their youth seemed to nourish the grim nostalgia of the survivors. </li></ul><ul><li>And the ghosts which had haunted the German Romantics revived, like the shades of Hades after draughts of blood&quot; (Lotte Eisner). </li></ul>
  126. 155. <ul><li>Films (art) must not be separated from their political, social and cultural habitat. </li></ul>
  127. 156. <ul><li>Film contains a social power, the power to influence perceptions and shape opinions. </li></ul>
  128. 157. <ul><li>Films don’t just mirror society they comment on it. </li></ul><ul><li>They negotiate collective fears, hopes and hidden anxieties. </li></ul><ul><li>They are especially powerful because they involve the viewer in a semi-hypnotic state. </li></ul>
  129. 158. <ul><li>“ Culture is not cults and customs, but the structures of meaning through which men give shape to their experience…” </li></ul><ul><li>Clifford Geertz, The Politics of Meaning </li></ul>
  130. 159. <ul><li>Why did a vampire film like Nosferatu appear in 1922? </li></ul><ul><li>Traumatic deaths in WWI ? </li></ul><ul><li>Did the vampire remind audiences of eastern Jews who came to Berlin by the 1000’s? </li></ul><ul><li>Did it work through the war experience without ever really alluding to it? </li></ul>
  131. 160. <ul><li>“ What films reflect are those deep layers of collective mentality which extend more of less below the dimension of consciousness.” </li></ul><ul><li>Kracauer </li></ul>
  132. 161. METROPOLIS, Fritz Lang - 1927
  133. 162. <ul><li>Technological modernization </li></ul><ul><li>The plight of the working class </li></ul><ul><li>The failed workers revolution </li></ul><ul><li>The political milieu </li></ul>
  134. 163. Futuristic Urban Dystopia
  135. 164. The entire film is dominated by the fear of technology gone wrong.
  136. 166. Workers vs. Owners in capitalism Relations between social classes <ul><li>Metropolis's theme is connected with both fascism and communism - the most powerful political ideologies of that time in Europe. </li></ul>
  137. 167. <ul><li>The workers are grouped as an anonymous mass and their alienation and exhaustion are expressed in their unison movement, uniform costume, lack of communication and absence of individualized facial expressions. </li></ul>
  138. 169. <ul><li>This lower class is contrasted with the playful and sexualized upper class in a space called the “Eternal Gardens” that is located above the workers’ homes. Here the characters express their individuality through elaborate costumes and playful interaction. </li></ul>
  139. 170. <ul><li>Eternal Gardens,” with its fountain and peacocks reminiscent of baroque architecture, a stark contrast to the modernist design of city below. </li></ul>
  140. 171. <ul><li>Workers being “fed” into the furnace, the worker is disposable, replaceable---no regard for humanity. </li></ul>
  141. 172. <ul><li>&quot;Moloch&quot; can refer to any person or thing which demands or requires costly sacrifices. </li></ul>
  142. 173. <ul><li>Conflict between the individual (or an extension of the self) and society at large. </li></ul>
  143. 174. Time is also an oppressor
  144. 175. Aryan Maria vs Ethnic Rotwang
  145. 176. Maria vs. Maria
  146. 177. Madonna vs The Whore of Babylon
  147. 178. <ul><li>Yoshiwara's House of Sin </li></ul><ul><li>Metropolis connects the feminine in the commodification of with the atavistic form of capitalism. </li></ul>
  148. 179. <ul><li>The threat of modernity is embodied by the figure of the prostitute, now also a robot, combining dangerous sexuality with the danger of technology. </li></ul>
  149. 180. <ul><li>The overriding theme of Metropolis is stated flat out on the screen: </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;The mediator between the head and the hands must be the heart .&quot;   </li></ul><ul><li>Freder, the mediator, whose heart is full of love, mediates between the brains (the thinkers, the masters, the capitalists) and the hands (the doers, the workers). </li></ul>
  150. 181. References <ul><li>The German Cabaret Movement During the Weimar Republic – Alan Lareau </li></ul><ul><li> JSTOR </li></ul><ul><li>Rethinking the Expressionist Era: Wilhelmine Cultural Debate and Prussian Elements in German Expressionism – Helen Boorman JSTOR </li></ul><ul><li>Ernst Kirchner’s Streetwalkers: Art. Luxury, and Immorality in Berlin, 1913-1916- Sherwin Simmons JSTOR </li></ul><ul><li>On The Origin of the Word Expressionism- Donald E. Gordon JSTOR </li></ul><ul><li>From Caligari to Dietrich: Seual, Social and Cinematic Discources in Weimar Film – Richard W. McCormick JSTOR </li></ul><ul><li>Anita Berber: Imaging A Weimar Performance Artist – Susan Laikin Funkenstein. </li></ul><ul><li>JSTOR </li></ul><ul><li>The Seven Addictions and Five Professions of Anita Berber : Weimar Berlin's Priestess of Depravity - Mel Gordon </li></ul><ul><li>The Haunted Screen – Lotte H. Eisner </li></ul><ul><li>University of California Press, 1973 </li></ul><ul><li>germanhistorydocs.ghi-dc.org </li></ul>
  151. 182. <ul><li>Storage Room in Niederschönhausen Castle for Confiscated Works of Degenerate Art, including works by Pablo Picasso. (1937) </li></ul>