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Art & Design

Written by Justine Aka

The Human Body: A machine

Fritz Kahn was an obstetric surgeon, author and artist, born 1888 in Germany. His work was banned from Germany when the Nazis came to power and he left for Palestine and the US. Fritz Kahn was the author of multiple written works and artwork concerned with the human body. His probably most famous work is an almost life-sized poster called “Der Mensch als Industriepalast” (Man as Industrial Palace) from 1926. In times of industrial modernity Fritz Kahn commented on the analogy of man and machine, displaying the human body as a factory depicting human physiology.

A website named after Fritz Kahn is advertising a book with collections of his work. The book shows how Fritz Kahn was a famous illustrator before the second world war, but could not pursue his creative career after the war and his name became forgotten. Nowadays his name starts appearing again and the public shows interest in his works.

In 2006 Hening Lederer, a German visual communication and animation student, played a major role in drawing attention to Fritz Kahn’s poster by translating the same poster into motion graphics. The “Industriepalast” is presented by Lederer through six cycles; the five main biological systems and one combing all of them in one big factory.

More information on Fritz Kahn can be found here.

Der Mensch als Industriepalast [Man as Industrial Palace] from Henning M. Lederer on Vimeo.

“Der Mensch als Industriepalast”
“Der Mensch als Industriepalast”
(Image by: Fritz Kahn)

Tags: Systems, Mechanics, Body, Poster, Motion Graphics

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