Revolutionizing Weimar Germany's Public Sphere

Extending the Photomontage - On the way to the Functional Montage

The last page will focus on how Heartfield's photomontage gets extended by Tucholsky's poem, both on the narrative and on the visual level. 

This is the photo that is paired with Tucholsky's poem titled "Das Parlament". A member of the German parliament is superimposed over a photograph of he German Reichstag so that it appears the man is about to fall asleep on top of the Reichstag. Some commentaries identify this politician as chancellor (Reichskanzler) Hermann Müller. The poem by Tucholsky refers to the elections in May 1928. The arrangements of the single verses let the stanza appear in a similar visual manner as the shape of the politician's legs. Thus, both on the level of content - the inertia of the sleeping politician is met by the inertia of the voting public "is ja janz ejal" / "forget it" - and on the visual level the photomontage gets extended. Now, there is a visual montage between the shape of the politician's legs and the shape of the three stanzas. 

While the photomontage is certainly able to symbolize the inertia of the Weimar Republic, the photo-text-montage not only provides further information and context for readers, but it also teaches them to read photographs and to see texts; and it urges them to start seeing the photomontage and the text not as single entities anymore, but as a montage. 

This page has paths:

This page references: