GIF Experiments: 20 (World’s Greatest Guard Dog)
by Steven McCabe
The ‘Guard Dog’ above is absurd on an obvious level. He’s clearly a harmless creature not a guard dog. Yet he is the World’s Greatest Guard Dog. Absurd. Or maybe the treasure he is guarding only needs a tiny woof and it will hide itself. I don’t know – maybe. I like to think the DADA artists might have smiled upon this little guy expected to be, or pretended to be, fierce. I’ve read they enjoyed the anarchic chaos of Keystone Cops movies and, of course, the genius of Charlie Chaplin. John Heartfield and the DADA artists created not only wildly inventive and incisive commentaries on war – war profiteering – and class privilege but did so with scathing absurdist humour. Heartfield lived in a dangerous time. His artistic satire put him in great danger.