German online film magazine F.LM has published an interesting double review entitled “Machine heart and heart machine” on two books with a lot in common: the monograph “Fritz Kahn – Man Machine” and a catalogue titled “Fritz Lang’s Metropolis”.
Just like the film “Metropolis”, which is celebrating a great comeback in its restored version, public interest in the work of Fritz Kahn has been revived by a new book and exhibition. The cultural influences on Fritz Kahn and Fritz Lang were derived from the same era, the Berlin of the 1920s. According to the article, Lang’s achievement in “Metropolis”, from a macro-perspective, was the same as Kahn’s achievement in the micro-perspective. The Kahn monograph analyzes his methaporical visual language, which often refers to aspects of film and cinema. Lang’s famous vision and the illustrations of Fritz Kahn are noted as “explicit milestones of European Futurism”. Just as in the machined city of Metropolis, a heart machine is central to Kahn’s body depictions, “in which little pistons are busy pumping blood through the arteries. … Kahn’s machine heart keeps the human body operational, just as Lang’s heart machine sustained the Metropolis urban compound”. Thanks to the screening of the film and the exhibition, both in Berlin, “these two artists have moved closer to each other – geographically and thematically”.
F.LM (full review in German)