DADA

No art movement captures the chaos of the modern world quite like Dada, which emerged during the First World War as a reaction to the absurdity of Western society. During the 1918 pandemic, artists like Tristan Tzara became socially engaged by distributing zines and other works in their local communities, instead of appealing to the bourgeois market and imperial institutions largely responsible for the tumult.

In Weimar, Hannah Höch deconstructed the nature of her world through a cut-and- paste style of photomontage that forever changed the appearance of visual media. Inspired by the experimental typography of the Futurists, Dada artists like Höch subverted the meanings of images from print media and popular culture. As with 1918 and 2020, pandemics often result from, as well as stir up, social change.