I have the task of providing a book or brochure of our front with a dress, a binding, so I' m trying to design it so that it has the greatest attraction for the broadest mass of people, guarantees the widest dissemination of revolutionary writing, corresponds best to the content, and on top of that is an independent sheet serving our tasks. ... John Heartfield, 1932
For the group exhibition Metal Postcard - Mittageisen 17 artists were asked to contribute a work that is assembled or reflects the means of montage. The work could be executed in any medium, including video, installation, animation, printing, drawing, sculpture, painting, and photography.
The title of the show is taken from the song of the same name by the punk band Siouxsie and the Banshees which was released as a single in 1979 and was written in dedication to John Heartfield (1891 - 1968). The song Metal Postcard refers to Heartfield's photomontage Hurrah, die Butter ist alle (1934). The photomontage, published as the cover page for the Arbeiter Illustrierte Zeitung, shows a National Socialist family eating iron: bicycle handlebars, axes, weights. With it, Heartfield was reacting parodistically to a quote from Hermann Göring: "Iron has always made an empire strong, butter and schmalz have at best made a people fat."
Metal Postcard - Mittageisen can be viewed as an associative homage to John Heartfield as a politically active, anti-fascist artist and pioneer of photomontage. At the center of the exhibition is Heartfield's revolutionary approach of breaking away from traditional art forms using the then avant-garde means of montage and at the same time acting directly, practically, and in a way that appeals to the masses. This approach was supposed to be taken up in the works exhibited if possible, but was not mandatory. The group exhibition comprises very different approaches to collage, photomontage, different kinds of political and subversive propaganda, as well as dada, punk and fanzine culture. The foil-covered exhibition room itself functions as an enterable collage.