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Other Topics
New releases
Inke Arns (ed.), Sylvia Sasse (ed.), ...: Nikolaj Evreinov: »The Storming of the Winter Palace«
Frédéric Morlot, Anne-Margot Ramstein: Albert Einstein's Bright Ideas
Claus Pias: Computer Game Worlds
Gertrud Koch: Breaking Bad, Breaking Out, Breaking Even
Kerstin Stakemeier (ed.), Susanne Witzgall (ed.): The Present of the Future
Yan Marchand, Vincent Sorel: Diogenes the Dog-Man
Unstable constructs of identity
Unstable constructs of identity

Susanne Witzgall

The Digital Self and the Subject Under Strain

People use representations of themselves – be they visual, written, material or mental – as an aid to securing the self, even though the precarious balance that exists between the representation and the represented is already well known. According to Zirfas and Jörissen, in spite of any misgivings about the self-image, it is nevertheless something that allows the subject to distil his or her own relation to the world into something “comprehensible and tangible,” and “stabilising unstable constructs of identity.”... OPEN
ACCESS
  • autobiography
  • identity
  • subjectivity
  • digital culture
Arts

»I don’t think the place of power is empty«

J.R.: Democracy is first and foremost neither a form of power nor a form of the emptiness of power, that is, a form of symbolising political power. For me, democracy isn’t a form of power but the very existence of the political (in so far as politics is distinct from knowing who has the right to occupy power or how power should be occupied), precisely because it defines a paradoxical power – one that doesn’t allow anyone legitimately to claim a place on the basis of his or her competences. Democracy is, first of all, a practice, which means that the very same institutions of power may or may not be accompanied by a democratic life. The same forms of parliamentary powers, the same institutional frameworks can either give rise to a democratic life, that is, a subjectivation of the gap between two ways of counting or accounting for the...

  • democracy
  • community
  • activism
  • acting
  • conversation
Arts

The artist is the neutral element

1. Art is not the sublime descent of the infinite into the finite abjection of the body and sexuality. On the contrary, it is the production of an infinite subjective series, through the finite means of a material subtraction.


 


2. Art cannot merely be the expression of a particularity (be it ethnic or personal). Art is the impersonal production of a truth that is addressed to everyone.



3. Art is the process of a truth, and this truth is always the truth of the sensible or sensual, the sensible qua sensible. This means: the transformation of the sensible into an happening of the Idea.



4. There is necessarily a plurality of arts, and however we may imagine the ways in which the arts might intersect there is no imaginable way of totalising this plurality.



5. Every art develops from an impure form, and the progressive purification of this impurity shapes the history both of...

  • Alain Badiou
  • aesthetics
  • contemporary art
  • art
  • work of art
The matrix for »Tombeau pour cinq cent mille soldats«
The matrix for »Tombeau pour cinq cent mille soldats«

Pierre Guyotat

The Prison

“This text was written at the end of 1962, after my return from Algeria. It stands under the immediate impression of Dostoyevsky’s The House of the Dead, and is the result of a paraphrase of a very bleak text fragment from Johann Sebastian Bach’s St John ­Passion, which I sung as a child. For me the text is the matrix for Tombeau pour cinq cent mille soldats.” P.G.   Our prison was encircled by marshland where birds and sick dogs came to... ABO
  • war experience
  • war
Authors

“I fled Europe as one flees one’s parents’ house“

I recognize that lobby. The Washington Hilton. Men in business suits are crammed in there by the thousands. American philosophers meeting for a convention. A compact assembly of thinkers. Thirty-five hundred of them, Newsweek published the figure. The eastern division of the American Philosophical Association. I make a tour of the counters. There are those of the airlines, TWA, Delta, Allegheny, and those of the hotel, reservations, information, mail, cashier. A perfume shop. 
A shoe-shine place. An art gallery with pictures painted on ­vel­vet. Crowds everywhere. Thinking crowds. All profs. Looking like insurance agents, more readily imagined talking finances than dialectic. Above a bank branch is written: Christmas, Think of it as Money. A prayer for peace follows, signed Riggs National Bank. Between Christmas and New Year’s is the time for the big conventions. I stop in front of every desk as if to bring to life the scene from...

  • 1968
  • homosexuality
  • memory
  • autobiography
  • emigration
Authors
Why this past? Why is this past mine? A past which I did not even know?


Why this past? Why is this past mine? A past which I did not even know?


  • memory
  • youth
  • 1968
  • post-war generation
  • homosexuality
  • autobiography
  • National Socialism
  • childhood
  • post-war period
  • primal scene
  • migration
  • past
  • trauma
  • emigration
  • identity
Part Dieu. The Painting of Francisco Sierra
Part Dieu. The Painting of Francisco Sierra

Michael Heitz

Another New God in Parts

You have to imagine Francisco Sierra as a cheerful painter. Not only do his A Self Portrait, from 2005, and the series ExBolígrafo, from 2005/06, suggest this but also his jocularly gloomy alternation between photo- and sur-realist visual gesture along with a highly idiosyncratic selection of subject matter. This is so remarkable that the viewer sets out on a frequently convoluted reversed trail along the process of painterly image-making in order to look for motifs in the sense of motivation—not... ABO
  • God
  • painting
  • motive
  • iconography
Discourse
“With a woman like that you can even live in ­Berlin”

“With a woman like that you can even live in ­Berlin”

  • archive
  • Siegfried Kracauer
  • photographic images
  • 1930s
  • Paris
  • 20th century
  • photography
  • portrait
  • History of photography
  • biography
  • collection
  • 1950s
  • exile
On the distribution of bodies in space
On the distribution of bodies in space

Stefan Hölscher (ed.), Gerald Siegmund (ed.)

Dance, Politics & Co-Immunity

The past years have seen a re-emergence of the need to think about and conceptualise the arts in general and dance in particular in terms of the political. Developments in globalised neo-liberal capitalism and the changes it has produced in the social fabric seem to beg for a statement of some kind from the artistic field. What is more, these changes increasingly affect the production and reception of dance itself, thereby laying bare the ideological underpinnings of its claim for...
  • body
  • politics
  • community
  • globalization
  • performativity
Humanities

Realism Today: Art, Politics, and the Critique of Representation

The debate on realism has always closely tied the notion of artistic progressiveness to the question of how artistic production relates to its social and cultural outside. To isolate considerations of formal creation from art’s reference to that outside is to bid farewell to the project of realism. For unlike such formalism, realism is by definition impure. It is always already open to an ethical, political, and epistemic demand: realism – as a stance, a project, a production – requires fidelity; fidelity, that is, to a reality that needs to be done justice in ethical, political, and epistemic terms. Realism attests to reality; it does not engender it. This implies that those who commit themselves to the realist project, and hence to fidelity to reality, must be the contemporaries of this reality. On the other hand, the realist project amounts to more than a positivist or automatic registration of something already given....

  • activism
  • politics
  • contemporary art
  • community
  • art
Humanities

»… Consistently Abused and Forced…«

When non-disabled artists such as Jérôme Bel or Christoph Schlingensief in their productions work with actors who, in hegemonic discourse, are referred to as disabled, they almost invariably face criticism over the exploitation and voyeuristic exhibition of these people. Bel’s Disabled Theater anticipated such reservations and took a good deal of wind out of its critics’ sails by having the performers themselves raise these issues on stage and report on their families’ reactions to the piece. Nevertheless, the question whether Jérôme Bel was showing up his actors was an inevitable topic in newspapers and on critics’ panels—even though, in view of the overall press reviews and the relatively small number of hatchet jobs, it seemed as if some critics only used these objections as alibis for legitimizing their respective point of view, their voyeuristic curiosity, or the work of the successful artist Jérôme Bel. The majority of reactions acquitted Bel...

  • performing arts
  • aesthetics
  • disability studies
  • Jérôme Bel
  • identity

 

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