Hannah Höch. Das schöne Mädchen (The Beautiful Girl), 1920. Collage.
Hannah Hoch’s piece Das Schone Madchen/The Beautiful Girl is a photomontage that deals with gender issues amidst the dawning of Germany’s New Woman. Hoch uses clippings of car parts from advertisements and female figures from magazines to create a juxtaposition between industrialization and perceptions of the role of women in a modernizing society. The idealized version of the New Woman was conflicted with the reality of the situations and experiences of real women in Germany, and Hoch makes a point to emphasis this problematic phenomenon.
Hannah Hoch was a female artist taking part in a movement that was completely made up of males within a society that was entirely run by males and this unique situation makes her perspective very poignant. Her intention for her art was not to depress, but to cleverly raise social consciousness. From her relevant subject matter to her use of the cutting edge media form of photomontage, this goal is clearly achieved. The feeling taken away from The Beautiful Girl is a somewhat cautious observation of the possibilities, both good and bad, for the future of German women as well as for the future of the entire country.