World War I and art exhibitions

This music video is called Siouxsie & The Banshees ‘Poppy Day’ Live 1979.

The lyrics are the first part of the poem “In Flanders Fields” by John McCrae. Basically, the first part of that poem is anti-war, the last part is war propaganda. Siouxsie & The Banshees leave out that last part.

In Belgium, the Ypres museum In Flanders Fields also is an anti-war museum.

David Cameron, Conservative Prime Minister of England, while preaching “austerity” to poor people, wants to spend lots of taxpayers’ money on “celebrating” the start of World War I in 1914.

This here looks like a better idea. From Ernst Voss Dot Com:

The Great War 1914-1918

Contemporary artists interpret The Great War 1914-1918

In 2014 it will be exactly 100 years since the outbreak of World War I, a time of particular upheaval in the history of Europe in more than one sense. It was interesting in terms of its aftermath in the reshaping of not only Europe and its colonial past, but also of the rest of world, in the sense of political, artistic and social change.

At the present time, due to the immense impact of the Second World War much of this history has been forgotten or overlooked.

A few examples

The beginning of woman’s emancipation, the beginning of plastic surgery, the start of striptease and burlesque dancing, the end of only old boys’ networks in politics.

The use of new military technologies like poison gas, aircraft, tanks and machine guns, were never seen before the First World War.

This is incorrect. All this was used much more massively in World War I than before. But machine guns were already used in 19th century British colonial wars in Africa.

See Hilaire Belloc’s sarcastic poetry lines from 1898:

Whatever happens, we have got
The Maxim gun, and they have not.

Italy used aircraft, also against civilians, in its colonial war in Libya in 1911-1912. Italian General, later a Mussolini supporter, Douhet developed the concept of “total war” out of that; which later became better known from its use by Hitler’s minister Goebbels.

Ernst Voss Dot Com continues:

In Art massive influence of painters like Grosz, Schlemmer, Dix, Kirchner and Beckmann, some of whom where enlisted as soldiers themselves in the Great War.

1916 Refugee artists from the entire world start the Dada movement in the Cabaret Voltaire Zürich.
1917 Lenin and Trotsky overthrow Tsarist Russia in the Russian Revolution founding the modern Soviet Union.
1918 the Dadaist manifesto was written in Berlin, Germany. Kurt Schwitters starts the very first collages in Hannover, Germany and the Weimar Republic is shaped from the remnants of Kaiserlich Deutschland.

Exhibiting on the battlefields of WW1

We are organizing a series of exhibitions on the actual battlefields of WW1 and are looking for painters, photographers, poets, musicians and theater makers who are interested in participating in this project.

Besides the artworks created in studios beforehand, we would like to invite artists to visit the actual location and make site-specific pieces of art, which will then become part of a travelling exhibition.

We are also looking for any kind of education specialists who would want to participate by giving a lecture or talk at the location where the exhibition is organised.

The Great War started in 1914 and ended roughly in 1918, the duration of which is exactly how long we expect this project to run.

If you or anybody you know is interested in this project, please contact us at:

Our mailing address is:

Ernst Voss Dot Com

Zomerdijkstraat 24-2, 1079XC Amsterdam, The Netherlands

*Detailed prospectus will be available at the beginning of April 2013.

6 thoughts on “World War I and art exhibitions

  1. Pingback: Stop Cameron’s celebration of World War I start | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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  4. Pingback: British artists and World War I, exhibition | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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