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  • time
  • literature
  • conversation
  • literary studies
  • practice
  • poetics
  • temporality
  • fiction
  • Modernism
One plus one equals other
  • discourse analysis
  • art theory
  • artistic research
  • Think Art
  • epistemology
  • aesthetics
Born too late to see the war, too soon to forget it.
Born too late to see the war, too soon to forget it.

Reiner Schürmann

Origins

"This is a book about the power that a past War holds over a German growing up in the 1950s and 1960s: born too late to see that war and too early to forget it. The narrative shows how painfully public events — the shadows, rather, of events gone by — intrude upon a life and shape it. The English translation appears at a moment when most of the key issues have radically changed. Germany has signed what amounts to a...
  • 1968
  • homosexuality
  • emigration
  • autobiography
  • memory
Claire Denis

Fragility is the only thing I really know about me

I am not a very balanced person. I am fragile and sad – almost as described in Triste Tropiques by Claude Lévi-Strauss. I feel both those adjectives, I grew up with them. I was aware of my fragility even when I was very young – a baby, learning to walk, living somewhere in Africa and already feeling that the number of white persons was very small compared to the number of black persons and also noticing that most of the black persons that I met were gardeners or maids. I felt – I am sure I am not lying – even at that very young age, not a sense of injustice, but a sort of guilt.

Guilt for what? My parents were nice people, they treated everyone well. My father was avidly learning languages, he spoke many African languages and also Pidgin English very well and he used to speak it...

  • autofiction
  • identity
  • subjectivity
  • film d'auteur
Maria Zinfert
“With a woman like that you can even live in ­Berlin”

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

  • Paris
  • exile
  • Siegfried Kracauer
  • archive
  • portrait
  • History of photography
  • 20th century
  • collection
  • photography
  • 1930s
  • photographic images
  • biography
  • 1950s

My language
English

Selected content
English, French

Weitere Themen
Essays on Photography by Siegfried Kracauer
Essays on Photography by Siegfried Kracauer

Siegfried Kracauer, Philippe Despoix (ed.), ...

The Past's Threshold

There can be no doubt, however, that in Kracauer’s texts published at the turn of the 1920s and the 1930s from his position as an editor of the cultural pages at the daily newspaper Frankfurter ­Zeitung, then in the 1950s during his American period, he sketches out a theorisation of photography that can be described as groundbreaking. But it is also true that most of his works overlap, in more than one way, with this medium of reproduction or that...
  • media theory
  • Siegfried Kracauer
  • History of photography
  • photography
  • film
Jacques Rancière

« L’appréciation esthétique d’une forme est sans concept. »

Qu’entendre par l’invocation d’une « esthétique de la connaissance » ? Manifestement il ne s’agit pas de dire que les formes de la connaissance devraient s’adjoindre une dimension esthétique. L’expression présuppose qu’une telle dimension n’a pas à être ajoutée, comme un ornement supplémentaire, qu’elle est là de toute façon comme une donnée immanente de la connaissance. Reste à voir ce que cela implique. La thèse que je voudrais présenter est simple : parler d’une dimension esthétique de la connaissance, c’est parler d’une dimension d’ignorance qui divise l’idée même et la pratique de la connaissance. 


Cette proposition implique évidemment une thèse préalable quant à ce qu’ « esthétique » veut dire. La thèse est la suivante : l’esthétique n’est pas la théorie du beau ou de l’art, elle n’est pas non plus la théorie de la sensibilité. Esthétique est un concept historiquement déterminé qui désigne un régime spécifique de visibilité et d’intelligibilité de l’art, qui s’inscrit dans une reconfiguration...

  • contemporary art
  • Alain Badiou
  • art
  • work of art
  • aesthetics
Frank Ruda

Democracy and its Discontents

Fredric Jameson has diagnosed the contemporary situation as one of subjective perplexity and disorientation. After the failures of all the Marxist attempts to install a framework which could provide for a collective subjective orientation, and after the perpetual intensification of late capitalism’s dynamics, the contemporary epoch is marked by the feeling that “the truth of … experience no longer coincides with the place in which it takes place.” This is to say, that individuals become disoriented because they lack an effective cognitive map of the complete situation they are in. This lack of orientation originates in the absence of a standpoint that would provide not only an abstract, but also a concretizable, perspective on the totality of the situation in which an individual finds himself. Badiou has further complicated the problem of disorientation, by linking it to the modalities of subjectivization offered by contemporary societies. In his analysis he refers to...

  • art
  • contemporary art
  • poetry
  • art criticism
  • aesthetics
The world is all that is the case
The world is all that is the case

Françoise Armengaud, Annabelle Buxton

Wittgenstein’s Rhinoceros

The two young men meet up at the Cambridge railroad station. While waiting for the train, they browse the shelves of the station bookshop. All of a sudden, Wittgenstein grabs Pinsent’s arm: “Look at the title of this book!” “What a coincidence!” exclaims Pinsent, “It is perfect for you!” Both start to laugh. They purchase the novel of a famous English detective novelist entitled A Rhinoceros in the Library. Wittgenstein is very excited. “David, listen carefully,” he says to Pinsent. “I already have three things...
  • young readers
  • thinking
  • logics
  • Wittgenstein
Joseph Mitchell

Madame, Monsieur, regardez la Danse !

Les calypsos viennent de Trinidad, une île britannique des Caraïbes proche de la côte du Venezuela qui fournit aussi au monde de l’asphalte ainsi que l’amer Angustura. Ils sont composés par des hommes hautains, amoraux qui boivent sec et qui se donnent le nom de calypsoniens. En grande majorité ce sont des Noirs. Une guitare sous le bras, ils passent leur temps dans les rhumeries et les cafés chinois de Marine Square et Frederick Street à Port-of-Spain, la ville principale de Trinidad, en quête de rumeurs autour desquelles ils pourraient construire un calypso. Nombre d’entre eux se vantent avec raison du fait que des femmes se battent pour avoir le droit de subvenir à leurs besoins. La plupart sont des vétérans des prisons de l’île. Pour se distinguer des hommes ordinaires, ils n’utilisent pas leurs noms légaux mais vivent et chantent avec des titres adoptés tels que Growler, Lord Executor,...

  • reportage
  • New York
  • New journalism
Lawless: Clouds Reprise
Lawless: Clouds Reprise

Ute Holl

The Moses Complex

The Moses complex derives its actuality from recalling the emergence of cultures as fields of mutually engendering relationships. From the perspective of media studies, which is a science of differential relationships between materialities and immaterialities, noises and messages, channels and signals, apparatuses and perceptions, the relationship to God or gods turns out to be one between people and their systems of thought. So media studies argues against fundamentalism, whether ontological, anthropological, or technicistic. The figure of Moses is a decisive node...
  • Jean-Marie Straub
  • exile
  • Danièle Huillet
  • Arnold Schönberg
  • community
Chantal Mouffe

Counter-Hegemonic Struggle and Agonistic Practices


In recent years we have witnessed an incredible acceleration in the process of commodification in the field of culture. With the development of the culture industries, the worst nightmares of Horkheimer and Adorno seem to have been realized. Indeed, some theorists claim that, through our dependence on the entertainments corporations, we have become totally subjugated to the control of capital and that we cannot even imagine modes of resistances. Aesthetics, they say, has been so completely harnessed towards the development of a hedonistic culture that there is no space left for a subversive experience – not even in art.


Were this to be true, we would have to conclude that there is no alternative to the present post-political world. The current hegemonic form of neoliberal globalization would constitute our only horizon and we would have to abandon the hope of fostering the agonistic democracy that I have been advocating in my work....

  • contemporary art
  • politics
  • art
  • activism
  • community
Juliane Rebentisch

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....

  • politics
  • community
  • contemporary art
  • art
  • activism
Let’s find the stage of human affairs
Let’s find the stage of human affairs

Marion Muller-Colard, Clémence Pollet

Hannah Arendt's Little Theater

While about to finish her last book, the philosopher Hannah Arendt is disturbed by her stubborn alter ego, 9-year-old Little Hannah. Reluctantly, the old woman lets herself drag out onto the streets of New York and into constant conversation by the inquisitive little girl. They enter a little theatre, and together they watch mankind, society, politics, power evolve – and they also experience the role of Evil (in the person of a wolf and of numerous wooden puppets) and its...
  • young readers
  • Evil
  • thinking
  • acting
  • ethics
Kati Kroß

»… 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...

  • aesthetics
  • Jérôme Bel
  • performing arts
  • disability studies
  • identity
Gareth A. Jones
Multiculturalism and the Embodiment of Fear

Multiculturalism and the Embodiment of Fear

  • crime
  • South Africa
  • contemporary history
  • violence
  • multiculturalism