let them eat metal

The name of this blog, “hurrah! the butter,” is modified from the English translation of the title and text of the above work by German artist John Heartfield, “Hurrah, die butter ist alle!”—“Hurrah, the butter is all gone.” Heartfield was an exemplary practitioner of “agit-prop” art and is best known for his socialist and anti-nazi photomontages from the 1930s. This particular work, originally published in AIZ, the Workers Illustrated Journal, in December, 1935, depicts a family at the dinner table stuffing themselves with bicycle parts and various pieces of metal. The cry “Hurrah, die butter . . . “ is Heartfield’s ironic response to a statement by Hermann Goering, cited in the lower portion of the image: “Goering in his Hamburg speech: ‘Iron ore has always made an empire strong, butter and lard have at most made people fat.’”

This bloggy use of a fragment from an anti-nazi artwork might seem to suggest some kind of parallel between then and now, but a reference makes neither an equation nor an explicit link; it really only maybe makes for resonance across disparate eras. Pretty heavy, huh? If I were cutting the crap I would just say the photomontage is razor-sharp and hilarious, particularly the baby eating a hatchet.