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The Conformist Heartfield Turned WildElectro-Mechanical Tatlin Sculpture
  • © Estate of George Grosz, Princeton, N.J. / VG BILD-KUNST, Bonn
  • Repro: Kai-Annett Becker
    • George Grosz (1893 - 1959)

  • TitleThe Conformist Heartfield Turned Wild
    Electro-Mechanical Tatlin Sculpture
    (Rekonstruktion Michael Sellmann 1988)
  • Date1920
  • CategoryInstallation
  • MaterialSchneiderpuppe, Revolver, Klingel, Messer und Gabel ,"C", "27", Gebiss, schwarzer Adlerorden, EK II, Osram Glühbirne
  • Dimensions130 x 45 x 45 cm (Objektmaß), 90 x 45 x 45 cm (Sockelmaß)
  • Amountmehrteilig
  • Inventory NumberBG-O 7083/93
  • CreditlineErworben aus Projektmitteln des Senators für Kulturelle Angelegenheiten, Berlin, 1988
  • On DisplayNo
Additional Reproductions

The Dadaists were radical in undermining conventional views about what art is, what it seeks to achieve and how it is supposed to be made. The sculpture “The Conformist Turned Wild. Heartfield” is a perfect example. Produced as a team effort by George Grosz and John Heartfield, this work can no longer be seen as the expression of an allegedly creative genius wielding a paintbrush. Dadaists preferred to see themselves as engineers assembling their acerbic caricature of militarism in the Weimar Republic from day-to-day flotsam and jetsam.

This headless, one-legged tailor’s dummy with absurd artificial limbs is a parody of the war-wounded soldier decorated for bravery. The teeth in the crotch are not so much a sleazy quotation as a reference to the disrupted sex life of soldiers returning home from the front. For this war cripple the light of knowledge, in the form of a simple bulb, can be switched on and off as required.