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Fragility is the only thing I really know about me
Fragility is the only thing I really know about me

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... ABO
  • autofiction
  • identity
  • film d'auteur
  • subjectivity



On Holocaust and Art

  • Theodor W. Adorno
  • prose
  • figurability / representability
  • concentration camp
  • shoah

On collective memory and the monument/memory-relation

The 1930s were an auspicious time for Jefferson. Never had Jefferson’s star shone brighter or seemed closer; never had it been followed by so many, including the current president. In an epiphany that had left him “breathless,” Roosevelt had recently discovered Jefferson’s pertinence to his own times. Henceforth, Roosevelt spoke privately of Jefferson “as if he had been one of his grandfathers,” while publicly he unerringly sought and found every occasion when Jefferson could be cited or honored, celebrating Jefferson’s progressiveness and making him the patron saint of the liberal but nonetheless most un-Jeffersonian New Deal.

The commemoration of Jefferson could draw on a rich blend of what Merrill Peterson has called the “images of Jefferson.” The older image of Jefferson as the “Great Commoner” and champion “of the little man”—which could not fail to have a special resonance in the period of the Great Depression—and as American revolutionary were complemented...

  • architecture
  • collective memory
  • 1930s
  • political iconography
  • USA


»The camera is my »exosomatic extension‹.«
»The camera is my »exosomatic extension‹.«

Gertrud Koch, Michael Lüthy, ...

A Walk With Allan Sekula Through His Exhibition

Gertrud Koch: We would like to start by discussing the different narrative forms you have chosen for the titles of your series, like »story«, »fable« or »tale«: how would you differentiate between stories and fables, and what autobiographical narratives are involved here? Is it a kind of metanarrative, is it a composing of different narrative moments?
   Allan Sekula: Very often my titling a particular work has an idiomatic logic: Fish Story has a vernacular resonance, particularly in American English where a... OPEN
  • Allan Sekula
  • memory
  • exhibition
  • photography
  • fiction
Current Texts

Art, science and the server-user-mode

The question is: what kinds of subjects are we becoming, in these networked brains embedded in their fleshy, neuronal viscera? And are these art-implicated subjects finding their parallel in science? Now more than ever we need to think about ›experience‹ as embodied thought – now when that ›cavern‹ and the thick, sensory envelope that populates it with consciousness is studded with earphones, zooming in psychopharmaceuticals, extended with prostheses, dazzled by odorless tastes and tasteless odors, transported by new media, and buzzing with ideas. You will say: this is not the first moment we have confronted such questions. But if the Dadaists anticipated prosthetic subjecthood, their experience was of an intact head with attachments. The complexity of input and internalization in contemporary art, and the sheer scope of scientific interpellation of us as subjects, is a world away. Artists attempt to materialize the sense data of contemporary subject positions. Materialization is...

  • Bruno Latour
  • experiment
  • contemporary art
  • Ernst Mach
  • artistic research
Current Texts

Crisis and Materiality in Art

Against all earlier hopes, the survival of mankind in and after the modern industrial age has turned out not to be automatable. On the contrary, it entirely depends on the continued active restoration of its material living conditions. Gilbert Simondon describes this connection between humans and their machines in the 1950s in On the Mode of Existence of Technical Objects as a tragically truncated, restricted, and limiting way of living for both because, “man’s alienation vis à vis the machine isn’t only socio-economic, but also has a psycho-physiological sense; the machine no longer expands the image of the body, whether for the worker or for those who own the machine.” In machines, humankind’s fatal self-restraint manifests itself. In humankind, the creation of the machine stabilises itself as a border of his/her own body. This brings about a relationship of continued reciprocal curtailment and scarcity. For Simondon, alienation is therefore not...

  • materialist turn
  • materiality
  • anthropology
  • thing/thingness
  • material aesthetics