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Crowds and DemocracyThe Idea and Image of the Masses from Revolution to Fascism$
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Stefan Jonsson

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780231164788

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231164788.001.0001

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Collective Vision

Collective Vision

A Matrix for New Art and Politics

Chapter:
(p.175) 4 Collective Vision
Source:
Crowds and Democracy
Author(s):

Stefan Jonsson

Publisher:
Columbia University Press
DOI:10.7312/columbia/9780231164788.003.0004

This chapter examines interwar discourse on the masses as expressed through various art forms, literary genres, and performing arts. It considers works such as Hungarian artist László Moholy-Nagy's photoplastic images, which illustrate the idea of the masses underpinning the disciplines of mass psychology and mass sociology; Weimar artist Marianne Brandt's montages, which invites viewers to see the world through the eyes of a personification of the new woman; and Walter Benjamin's major writings from the late 1920s and through the 1930s, which explore how contemporary modes of aesthetic representation and visual perception referred to “the collective,” just like the culture of an earlier era expressed a social life organized around “the individual”.

Keywords:   the masses, collective, interwar period, Germany, Austria, László Moholy-Nagy, photoplastics, Marianne Brandt, montage, Walter Benjamin

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