Technical Genders

In light of the First World War it becomes evident that the machine developed from a mere accessory into an indispensable part of human life. With a sharp eye, the German Dadaists characterise post-war society as consisting of cyborgs whose maimed bodies are kept alive by means of metal and technology. The group of artists in Berlin around George Grosz and John Heartfield first and foremost criticise the petty bourgeoisie, who allow their reason to be randomly switched on and off by the authorities. In his pictorial compositions, Marcel Duchamp goes a step further by equating human with machine: In works such as the study for “La broyeuse de chocolat, No 2”, apparatuses like a chocolate mill symbolise the sexual act. Hence
even in art, human beings entirely disappear behind machines. They become a code with which pictorial Content can be deciphered.

Francis Picabia
Ici, c'est ici Stieglitz
aus: 291, Nr. 5-6 (Deluxe edition), 1915
Bibliothèque littéraire Jacques Coucet, Paris
© Foto: bpk / RMN - Grand Palais / Hervé Lewandowski

Marcel Duchamp
De ou par Marcel Duchamp ou Prose Sélavy / Boîte-en-Valise, 1966
Staatsgalerie Stuttgart
© Association Marcel Duchamp / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2019

Ella Bergmann-Michel
Sans titre (B 151), 1923
Galerie Eric Mouchet, Paris
© VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2019