Kirchner’s narrative of shoppers in Germany, this is a reflection of the
dehumanization of the body as a result of the cult of the machine and the
factory aesthetic. When flesh becomes metal or tin, as in the Wizard of Oz,
no heart beats within.
Forms of Continuity in Space, 1913, discussed earlier in respect to
muscles and movement, evidences the artist’s choice of mechanical movement as
the ideal of beauty. Marcel Duchamp’s Nude Descending a Staircase II, 1912,
similarly represents negative influences (technology and the love of the
machine) on humanity. In this painting, the “nude”, the epitome of the
Neoplatonic ideal, the absolute perfection to which humans strive, has been
reconfigured in terms of robotics.