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  • discourse analysis
  • aesthetics
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  • artistic research
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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


"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...
  • memory
  • 1968
  • homosexuality
  • autobiography
  • emigration

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Weitere Themen
"Curriculum Vitae in Pictures“

Maria Zinfert (ed.)

Kracauer. Photographic Archive

Kracauer. Photographic Archive presents  largely unknown material from the estate of the German-American theorist of film and photography, ­Siegfried Kracauer and his wife and assistant Elisabeth, known as Lili. The single and group portraits, still lifes, street scenes and landscapes collected in this book all come from the estate of Siegfried Kracauer. Published here for the first time, they are an extensive and representative selection from the enlargements, contact sheets and rolls of film originally archived by Lili Kracauer. With...
  • 1950s
  • 1930s
  • archive
  • 20th century
  • biography
Alain Badiou

Only art has the power of a form. Mathematics is an exercise for monks.

We all know that the relationship between mathematical activity and artistic creation is a very old one. We know that for a start the Pythagoreans tied the science of number not merely to the movements of the stars but to musical modes. We know that Babylonian and Egyptian architecture presupposed elaborate geometrical knowledge, even if the notion of demonstration had still not been won. Further back still, we find formal, or abstract, outlines mixed in with animal representations, in the great prehistoric decorations, without our knowing precisely to what it is that these mixtures refer. 

For the philosopher that I am, or that I believe I am, the entry into our question, as so many others, passes through the contrasting disposition between Plato and Aristotle. 

For Plato, mathematics is fundamental in the sense that it mediates between, on the one hand, experience, or the relation to the sensory world, and,...

  • contemporary art
  • art
  • art criticism
  • aesthetics
  • poetry
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...

  • work of art
  • art
  • contemporary art
  • aesthetics
  • Alain Badiou
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
  • logics
  • thinking
  • Wittgenstein
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...
  • Siegfried Kracauer
  • photography
  • film
  • media theory
  • History of photography
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....

  • activism
  • art
  • community
  • politics
  • contemporary art
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...
  • community
  • politics
  • body
  • performativity
  • globalization
Alain Badiou

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...

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