Hausmann, Raoul (1886–1971) By Matheny, Lynn Kellmanson
Raoul Hausmann, the “Dadasoph,” was an active participant in the Dada movement in Berlin, authoring key manifestos, co-founding Club Dada, editing journals, and co-organizing the First International Dada Fair. He declared that Dada was “the only legitimate means of visual communication” and argued that “everyone who liberates his innermost tendency is Dadaist,” (Huelsenbeck 1993: 49). Arguably Hausmann’s most lasting impact on modernism is his development of the medium of photomontage. Hausmann saw the cutting and pasting of photographs as a movement away from the traditional materials of art and role of the artist. Pictures culled from mass cultural sources became the raw material for biting social critiques. By repurposing images from popular culture, Hausmann exposed their artificiality and challenged viewers’ assumption that photographs—and the ideologies behind them—are truthful.