The Art Movement Beside The Photo Montage

Today, we will be discussing about a few art movements that are somehow linked to the photo montage. We will quickly take a look at each work and respond to them.

First up, we have Dadaism. Since we have already covered this before, I will just explain it briefly. Dadaism was art by the Dada Group after World War 2, where they used the photo montage as a form of anti-art in protest of the chaos that was going on in the world. Their art was like something no one had ever seen before – it defied everything we knew about the world. I have the link to a video here that explains Dadaism very well, and I love this short section where one of the members of the Dada Group spoke about how to make a “Dada Poem”.

“Choose a article. Cut out the article. Then, cut up the words that make up the article and put it into a bag. After that, take out the words one by one and place them in the order they left the bag, and here is a poem that is all about you, infinitely original, and sensibly charming, though beyond the understanding of the mankind.”

It really shows what the function of a photo montage actually was for. They were talking about a GLOBAL ISSUE – the WORLD WAR. Photo montages are made to communicate who you are, while being infinitely original, sensibly charming and yet beyond the original understanding of mankind. This is what I can apply to the the photo montage – by randomly mixing things up to get an unexpected but totally original yet charming composition. As our Statement of Inquiry says,

Changing the boundaries of expected relationships can inspire unexpected compositions.

Video Link –

Here are a few examples of art from Dadaism.


This montage basically communicates all the themes and beliefs of the Dada Group in a way that feels like the world is falling apart. I can see how they took everything, put it in the bag, and spread everything out in some of the most random ways. It feels like all of the buildings and sharp objects are crushing all the people at the bottom – the world is in an utterly state of chaos that cannot be escaped wherever you run to.


This is basically similar to the montage above, except that I feel this one is like others “kicking” others using their legs. Humans are fighting humans for their own survival. In the meantime, we suffer great misery, and much suffering.

Our next art movement is Cubism. Cubism, which was in the early to mid 1900s, was more about geometric shapes used to resemble the subject being taken. It was developed by Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque. The shapes are used to create a rather mystical aura which is still understood by mankind. The way the painting is broken up is supposed to help in the communication of the message of the art. I describe cubism as “breaking apart and shuffling around”. It’s a little like Dadaism but it isn’t the chaotic type.


It feels like the violin player is stuck in a statue. The shapes make her look very fixed and as if she cannot escape playing the violin for the sake of money. You can see it from the determination yet sadness in her eyes.


This artwork clearly shows that a guitar has been split up into many parts. There are many guitars, but no perfect ones. There is nothing that is complete and whole and something we can call perfect – just like us humans.

Now looking at the photo montage, Dadaism aims to communicate something as random as possible yet has a lot of meaning. That’s what a photo montage should communicate – something like the global issues going on around the world. For example, I read about tax evaders from companies, who try to ensure that the prices of their shares are as high as possible, which is why they do not pay tax. It’s an issue that hampers the government’s funds and ability to develop the nation into a better place to live in. Dadaism communicated on the global issue of war, which is how both are similar.

For cubism, the fact that everything is rearranged for the sake of deeper meaning is exactly what the photo montage is about, like this task of creating a photo montage. The “geometricness” of the shapes give it a very fixed meaning that is often, no, always circulated around lines. As mentioned before, lines draw us into a photo, creating composition, and that’s how cubism relates.

The art movements inspire others. Have they inspired you ?


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