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

  • autobiography
  • memory
  • migration
  • identity
  • 1968
  • post-war generation
  • past
  • childhood
  • National Socialism
  • post-war period
  • homosexuality
  • emigration
  • youth
  • trauma
  • primal scene
Punk Philology
  • discourse
  • art
  • philology
  • literature
  • contemporary art
Other Topics
Current Texts

Maël Renouard

On Memory Atrophy

Externalized memory had always proceeded by contractions, summaries, reductions, selections, breaks in flow, as well as by organization, classification, boiling down. Card catalogues reduced thousands of works to a few key notions; tables of contents contracted the hundreds of pages in a given book. The sign itself was the first abbreviation of experience. An epic stitched of words was an abbreviation of the war, the long years of which were reduced to a few nights of recitation; the written text that recorded the epic was a contraction of the oral narration which pushed aside its sensory richness, melody, life in a thousand details. In accumulating, every level of abbreviation reconstituted an infinite flow, a new dilation that would be contracted in its turn. From the plurality of pages to the index and the table of contents; from the plurality of books to card catalogues.

The abbreviated elements were further arranged, situated...

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Empty Diagonal
Empty Diagonal

Mehdi Belhaj Kacem, Antoine d’Agata

Diagonale du vide

“If there is an artist capable of making these vacuums speak, it is d’Agata. To show what is not visible, to make present what can not be represented. There is a visual 'spectralism' about Antoine. It is about recording the spasms of humanity that is committing suicide, which has access to all the information needed to know what it is doing, and yet does nothing to revert the trend. We documented this suicide during a week of shared driving, of...
  • contemporary art
  • photography
  • France
  • revolution
  • community
Arts
About ‘how we treat the others’

Artur Zmijewski

About ‘how we treat the others’

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  • National Socialism
  • ethics
  • concentration camp
  • migration
  • Poland
  • political aesthetics
  • gift
  • documenta
  • contemporary art
  • propaganda
Arts
Mama Say Make I Dey Go, She Dey My Back

Jelili Atiku, Damian Christinger

Mama Say Make I Dey Go, She Dey My Back

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  • performance
  • body
  • spiritism
  • ritual
  • ceremony
  • feminism
  • Africa
  • colonialism
All that pent up terror and rage
All that pent up terror and rage

Dodie Bellamy

Plague Widow

Driving to the Castro, Bee Reaved feels hyper emotional, as she often does in the car, Nick Cave’s Ghosteen on repeat, and she thinks—this is what it’s like to live without hope. Six months after Kevin’s death, friends left her to fare for herself. Other widows warned her this would happen, that everybody would disappear before she was ready. One widow she no longer talks to said, “Wait and see, you’re going to have a total breakdown.” Now, with the...
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Fiction

Dietmar Dath

Do you want to believe in language?

Asleep, Patrick sees what he doesn’t believe while he’s awake.

The index calculates everything. Announcements of awards, mostly false, light up then die. His dopamine balance feeds the list. Limbic structures support it. Brain means house, should have windows. But they’re slow shutter pictures of the past.

 

Five minutes past four, Patrick is woken up by a noise. He’s lying in the small room. Renate is sleeping in the big one.

“Maybe I’ll get an idea during the night,” he had justified his move to the couch, “Then I’ll have to send it to them. We’re sending the thing off tomorrow.” He was afraid of saying what he knew about Kerstin in his sleep, while lying next to Renate. In the darkness he feels the room buzzing at him. His brain answers the hum, singing sugar and protein, talking perineural network that controls the form and function of the synapses which guide all...

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Digital disrupture
Digital disrupture

Dieter Mersch

Digital Criticism

We really need an analysis of algorithmic conditions and their paradoxes and ambiguities that gives them an adequate framework and horizon. But instead we currently seem to be finding an algorithmic solution of the algorithmic, much as digital solutions are being offered for the problems of the digital public sphere, in the way that IT corporations, for example, use exclusively mathematical procedures to evaluate and delete “fake news,” inappropriate portrayals, or the violation of personal rights. This tends to result...
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Aesthetic Practices in the Global South
Aesthetic Practices in the Global South

Liliana Gómez (ed.)

Performing Human Rights

This book aims to show how arts perform human rights and how aesthetic engagements with human rights violations testify to art’s capacity to create alternate worlds, which with their creative modes do provide alternate semantics to the legal failures and the state’s official silence. This book shares the conviction that, after all, artistic articulations allow ethico-aesthetic considerations of “questions that are broader than the law and the institutions of the political, precisely because they are prior to law … and...
  • Human rights
  • violence
  • justice
  • collective memory
  • Think Art
Humanities

Maria Filomena Molder

So many egoists call themselves artists…

“So many egoists call themselves artists,” Rimbaud wrote to Paul Demeny on May 15, 1871. Even though that is not always obvious, ‘I’, the first person, is the most unknown person, a mystery that is constantly moving towards the other two, the second and third persons, a series of unfoldings and smatterings that eventually gelled as ‘Je est un autre’. That is why ‘apocryphal’ is a literarily irrelevant concept and ‘pseudo’ a symptom, the very proof that life, writing, is made up of echoes, which means that intrusions and thefts (Borges also discusses them) will always be the daily bread of those who write.

Words from others, words taken out of place and mutilated: here are the alms of time, that squanderer’s sole kindness. And so many others, mostly others who wrote, and many other pages, all of them apocryphal, all of them echoes, reflections. All this flows together into—two centuries...

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