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Themesicon: navigation pathSound and Imageicon: navigation pathMontage/Sampling/Morphing
Lichtspiel Schwarz-Weiß-Grau (Moholy-Nagy, László), 1930

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the twentieth century.

It is worth taking a closer look at the problems montage was actually supposed to solve. There were investments in the term at various different fronts, the most prominent of which was film—one associates in particular early Soviet filmmaking with montage. The term montage can be found notably in the sphere of Soviet art activism, but also in connection with other art forms, for instance graphic design, e.g. the design of posters and magazines. [2] With regard to magazine and poster design, the term montage also plays a crucial rolei [3] in other influential modernist movements of the 1920s beyond the so-called ‹fine arts,› or with those American photographers concerned with the presentation of their documentary photographs in books, in general with the relation between photography and context. [4] With László Moholy-Nagy, for instance, the photomontage appears as a process of constructivist design in a variety of different contexts (Bauhaus as well as his own work, film as well as the «typophoto» genre he established) and stages of cultivation. [5] Finally, montage is a process that occupies a central position in Walter


Benjamin's reflections on new versions of artistic productivity—be it conceived of from a production-aesthetic perspective as a cinematographic process or one for the production of plate images, be it from a receptionaesthetic perspective in shock theory or more generally in the theory of the dialectic image, or going a step further as the epitome of a modern artistic process. [6] For Peter Bürger it stands for the constitution of works by the avant-garde, but—in a completely different sense—as a purely technical process or the integration of the «non-illusory debris of real life» into the artistic collage. [7] However, for Adorno, too, the montage is not only met with in this sense, but from a pessimistic viewpoint also as a characteristic typical of the culture industry.


The descriptive and normative uses of this term frequently become mixed up, as does its emphatic charging with its sobering return to the necessity for new artistic techniques. What is often interesting is the involuntary fusion—out of this necessity—of the technique that emerges in film and mounted works of

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