The Dada Archivist: Hannah Hoech, Kurt Schwitters and Berlin Dada (German Visual Culture #13) (Hardcover)

With astuteness and feeling, Stina Barchan captures the wonderful friendship between Hannah H ch and Kurt Schwitters and their artistic affinities. She deftly traces how each threaded together archival treasures and different forms of three-dimensional montage in their homes and workspaces to create living art in difficult times.

(Maud Lavin, Professor Emerita, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and author of Cut with the Kitchen Knife: The Weimar Photomontages of Hannah H ch)

Focusing on Hannah H ch's archive (rather than her artworks) and her post-Second World War activities (rather than the Dada period), Stina Barchan bypasses conventional approaches to the artist and compellingly argues that H ch's holistic approach to art and life in this period was among the most fundamentally subversive and radical of her career.

(Adrian Sudhalter, author of Dadaglobe Reconstructed)

The archive of the German artist Hannah H ch (1889-1978) has long been an important source of material for historians researching the interwar avant-garde and artists associated with Berlin Dada. This book explores H ch's practices of organisation when assembling the documents in her house outside Berlin from 1939 until her death. Through extensive research, the author argues that H ch's archive should be considered not just a collection of documents but a work in its own right, intimately connected with the artist's daily life. Noting the importance of understanding the mechanisms of this work, the book suggests that H ch took charge of both preserving and exploring the possibilities of Dada long after the group had been officially dissolved.

The file that H ch assembled on her friend, the artist Kurt Schwitters (1887-1948), plays an important part in the book, its content revealing how domestic habits infused both artists' practices. Juxtaposing H ch's archive and Schwitters's Merzbau, the author argues for an interactive movement between the two that has fundamental implications for how we understand both artists' oeuvres.

Stina Barchan holds a PhD in the History of Art from University College London. She is an independent art historian, specialising in German and Scandinavian art of the early twentieth century.
Product Details ISBN: 9781800798892
ISBN-10: 180079889X
Publisher: Peter Lang Ltd, International Academic Publis
Publication Date: October 31st, 2023
Pages: 294
Language: English
Series: German Visual Culture