THE GREENS OF HANNAH HÖCH

The annual Day of Open Monuments offered the unique opportunity to visit the house and rural premises of Hannah Höch (1889-1978), great artist, co-founder and also the only female promoter of Dadaism. Her former green refuge and home is located in Berlin-Heiligensee, a more village-like district in the North of the German capital. Here she worked and lived from 1939 till her decease in 1978.

Hannah Höch’s house and garden (street-view)

Hannah Höch, Mechanical Garden, 1920

In 1918 she proclaimed the photo montage as a new form of artistic expression and thus wrote art history. The gift of observing was essential for her in order to discover new pictures in existing ones. With the help of scissors and glue Hannah Höch strove for such new creations, which according to her own estimation were achieved when the alienation of found illustrations was so fundamental that one could no longer recognize where the pictures originally came from.

Hannah Höch working in her garden, late 1960s

Nature and landscape played a special role in the ouevre of Hannah Höch through her entire life. She liked to show the numerous facets of nature far from a naive idyll by using also combative and humorous angle of views, sometimes full of dark melancholy.

Hannah Höch, Bouquet, 1929

” A great deal of strength gave me my strong touch with nature. In the wild whirl (in which) our life took place in this time, I always had this one thing at hand.”  

 (Hannah Höch in a letter to Kurt Heinz Matthies, 1943)

Back yard of Hannah Höch’s home

Every day she spent many hours in her garden, raising flowers, vegetables and fruits. So the garden was also important for her surviving because she never got rich with her varied art. Not all of her works are known till today because they are spread somewhere while she was also forced sometimes to pay the butcher or things like that with small artworks and creations. 

Hannah Höch, Tempest, 1935

During the Third Reich she was defamed by the Nazis as a Culture-Bolshevist and was no longer allowed to work and exhibit. In the autumn of 1939 she bought a former flight attendant’s house in Berlin-Heiligensee far away from the busy city centre. The house offered an ideal hideout for the artist, and in this pastoral environment Höch could feel safe from spying and denunciation, because none of her neighbours suspected anything of her Dada past.

Hannah Höch, Der Unzufriedel, 1945

Due to this seclusion of her new domicile she succeeded in rescuing her own works as well as the objects of her artist friends which were declared by the Nazis as the leading representatives of socalled degenerate art. However, the decision to stay in Nazi-Germany resulted in a real difficult economical situation. To make a living  she had to sell flowers and fruits from her nice garden which she arranged after WW II to a thriving total work of art.

Hannah Höch, Garden, 1948

 

THE ROUTE IS THE FINAL DESTINATION IN AUSTRIA

Since the Romantic period, people have discovered nature for themselves, exploring it on foot and looking at it from new angles. Such wanderlust and outdooring (as well on very high mountains) has enabled a new direct, physical and sensual encounter with the also harsh heart of nature itself because the final goal of these rural ambitions may be also unreachable at times.

Sunrise on the road near Bartholomäberg

On the trail from Falla to Silbertal

Swiss horses on Gargellenalpe

Trail from Gargellen to St. Antönier Joch

Mural at the old city of Bludenz

Foggy morning view at Innerberg

Mountain huts on Kristberg

Finish area of a mountain-bike event at Schruns

 

Linked to:

Capelas, Sáo Miguel- not quite a Monday walk

 

IN THE VALLEY OF DEATH

DSC_0142

Again we have to observe that megalomaniac leaders bustle about at the horizon and assure the amorphous serpents creeping over the streets that it would still be a grand creation to survive on these rails of civilization. A blotted vision attacks the alien visitor in a fever of amok: a false expectation and endless questions. So why should one still continue the decoding of the round-about in the interspace of opulent stoppers while copulating with the mimicry in legendary madness effects and all this just in order to get a further permission here in the globalized desert?

DSC_0144

Stupid collapsing quant, because you only smell excitement behind the balloon where the mutants dehumanize riotings, but the silo remains stable in the molecular wind where the weird insight’s silver awaits the later coming invader. Dilettantes, your stirring must be louder than such a smelly metadiscourse. Filth must vanish under the slogan: One blight on the nation for everybody! Because now, it really becomes embarassing in Europe.

DSC_0147

No illusion is capable to fake this universe – neither a symbolical reversal of a digital graphic nor an allegorical exaggeration at the banks of the revolt. The eternal shadow of ourselves sticks to us like death and reminds us to accept intensely the temptations of this myth because the realm of shadow can not be organized. In no hiding place this treasury can be revealed after the magic language of left places signified to give up the cool silence and to trust the spectacular wild paths leading finally through the foggy gorge and osseous labyrinth of urbanized and postmodern misunderstandings.

The Daily Post  Weekly Photo Challenge – All time favorites

THE RED LINES OF BEING

31-Otis-tarda-Jiri-BohdalCourtship dance of male great bustards in early spring   © Jiri Bohdal

Great bustards have been already mentioned long time ago in older writings of Pliny the Elder as avis tarda, and in 1758 they were classified with their scientific name Otis tarda by Carl Linnaeus while the description tarda is Latin for slow and deliberate which is apt to describe the typical walking style of these possibly heaviest flying birds in the world who breed in southern and central Europe and across temperate Asia. European population are mainly resident, but Asian birds move further south in winter. Portugal and Spain now contain about 60 % of the world’s population (approx. 50,000 birds in total). The birds are often described as magnificent, stately birds because of the males’ great size, cocked tails and large white whiskers.

In the rural countryside of the great bustards

This species has suffered rapid population reductions across most of its range owing to the loss, degradation and fragmentation of its habitat, as well as hunting leading to a complete extinction in Great-Britain already in the midst of the 19th century. In Germany around 200 birds are now living again at three different locations in the eastern part what means an increase of 400 % in relation to the bad situation in 1997. This is only possible by heavy intervention of ornithologists and nature conservationists who for example achieved that the new railway trail from Berlin to Hannover had to be redirected several years ago in order not to disturb the birds – meanwhile fenced areas have additionally been constructed at suitable locations as a protection for the birds because unfortunately, the great bustards are also a bit stubborn and conservative in their behavior what may be quite dangerous for a vulnerable species.

Single great bustard – photo: Andrej Chudy  CC BY-SA 2.0

So the flexible and intelligent fox could normally always very easily steal their eggs while the great bustards simply do not take enough care of it. But these reserved islands here in Germany seem to be also a little bit like an outdoor-zoo hosting ornithological observation towers for bird watchers of all kind (one good observation point is situated for example near the city of Märkisch-Luch, urban district Garlitz, in the federal  state of Brandenburg) but observation is normally only possible in early spring during the courtship displays. So you need always binoculars as the birds can only be watched in a minium distance of ca. 300 m.

Their distant relative – the crane – instead could be a good teacher in this regard who overflies each year the continents of this world in order to find the best places for survival. But when you do not cross the red lines of being, hence you will never know what is lying there behind the horizon of singularity. Even if you subsequently discover only a half-filled glass of water this is definitely always much better than a dried-up big river in front of your door.

Lens Artists Challenge “Delicate”