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WiSe 2020/21

Manufacturing the Past: Art After History / On Memory Culture in the Age of Post-History - Einzelansicht

  • Funktionen:
Veranstaltungsart Wissenschaftliches Modul SWS 2
Veranstaltungsnummer 320230019 Max. Teilnehmer/-innen 19
Semester WiSe 2020/21 Zugeordnetes Modul
Erwartete Teilnehmer/-innen 19
Weitere Links PANAS
Sprache englisch
Termine Gruppe: [unbenannt]
  Tag Zeit Rhythmus Dauer Raum Raum-
Lehrperson Bemerkung fällt aus am Max. Teilnehmer/-innen
Einzeltermine anzeigen
Do. 13:30 bis 16:00 wöch. 12.11.2020 bis 28.01.2021  Marienstraße 14 - Projektraum 312       20
Gruppe [unbenannt]:

Zugeordnete Personen
Zugeordnete Personen Zuständigkeit
Buden, Boris , Dr.phil. verantwortlich
keine öffentliche Person
Abschluss Studiengang Semester Leistungspunkte
Master Kunst im öffentlichen Raum (M.F.A.), PV17 1 - 3 6
Master Medienkunst/Mediengestaltung (M.F.A.), PV29 1 - 3 6
Zuordnung zu Einrichtungen
Fakultät Kunst und Gestaltung
Kunst im Öffentlichen Raum und neue künstlerische Strategien

There is a curious coincidence of three events that occurred simultaneously thirty years ago: the end of the Cold War, also known as the fall of Communism; the end of history; and the ”turn to memory”, the emergence of the so-called ”age of commemoration.” The course shall explore mutual interference of these three events and search for their cognitive, cultural and artistic synergies.

Its starting point is the assumption that the past is no longer given. We don’t know what it is, how does it look like and where we can find it. A special knowledge on the past, historiography, has lost the epistemic monopoly on its facts and truths. The times when the past had its proper place in our historical consciousness are also gone. Moreover, the historical consciousness that had once guaranteed our orientation within the time-spaces of modernity has evaporated into a myriad of memory cultures that hover over post-historical reality like a fog.

It is within this (post)historical context that culture in general and art in particular have taken an increasingly important role in the new manufacturing of the past. It is even said that today’s contemporary art is excessively obsessed with the past. How to understand this role and how to judge its effects? Is art able to restore the lost orientation in the historical time or compensate for the lost knowledge on the past? Or should it rather turn the past into what history once was—a teacher of life, a magistra vitae?


Finally, how does this apply to the actual political reality, in which the previously opposing sides that once mutually excluded one another, such as facts and illusions, or memory and oblivion, often act as brothers in arms. Is this dangerous transformation a legacy of the past or a brand-new product of contemporary power struggles? How could we prevent alleged traumas of the past from turning into much worse traumas in the future?



Walter Benjamin, „ Edward Fuchs: Collector and Historian,” in One-Way Street and Other Writings, Jephcott and Shorter, trans. (London: Verso, 1979)

Maurice Halbwachs, The collective memory, (New York: Harper & Row Colophon Books, 1980), pdfs of chapters 1 and 2 available on UCSB Collective Memory seminar website

Fredric Jameson, The Cultural Turn, Selected Writings on the Postmodern, 1983-1998, (London: Verso 1998)

David Lowenthal, The Past Is a Foreign Country (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985

Pierre Nora, Rethinking France: Les Lieux de mémoire, Volume 4: Histories and Memories (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2010)

Pierre Nora, ”Reasons for the Current Upsurge in Memory,” Eurozine, April 19, 2002, http://www.eurozine.com/articles/2002-04-19-nora-en.html

On the End of Communism:

Boris Buden, Transition to Nowhere. Art in History After 1989, (Berlin: Archive, 2020)

Frances Fukuyama, „The End of History?”, in The national Interest, Summer 1989, http://www.wesjones.com/eoh.htm.

Susan Buck-Morss, Dreamworld and Catastrophe: The Passing of Mass Utopia in East and West, (Cambridge: MIT Press, 2000). (Especially Chapter I, The Political Frame, 2-40)

Susan Buck-Morss: Aesthetics after the End of Art: An Interview with Susan Buck-Morss Author(s): Grant H. Kester Source: Art Journal, Vol. 56, No. 1, Aesthetics and the Body Politic, (Spring, 1997), pp. 38-45

Published by: College Art Association Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/777785


Boris Groys, ”A Conversation with Boris Groys about the Post-communist Condition

‘Utopia Is Investment In The Artificial’” (IDEA arts+society #21 – 2005)


Charity Scribner, Requiem for Communism, (Cambridge MA, London, England: MIT Press, 2003) (Especially ”Introduction: The Second World”, 2-21)

On contemporary art and history/memory:

Peter Osborne, ”Every other Year is Always this Year. Contemporaneity and the Biennial Form”, in: Galit Eilat, Nuria Enguita Mayo, Charles Esche, Pablo Lafuente, Luiza Proença, Oren Sagiv and Benjamin Seroussi (Ed.), Making Biennials in Contemporary Times. Essays from the World Biennial Forum No2, Sao Paulo, Amsterdam : Biennial Foundation; Sao Paulo : Fundacao Bienal de Sao Paulo; ICCO - Instituto de Cultura Contemporanea present, 2015 p.15-28.

Dieter Roelstraete, ”The Way of the Shovel: On the Archeological Imaginary in Art”,


Dieter Roelstraete, ”After the Historiographic Turn: Current Findings”




online Moodle Raum & Big Blue Button Video Conferencing, we will get in contact with you after your registration in Bison for this module by e-mail first


The work in the course will be organized mostly in the form of readings, discussions and self-curated discursive events in a mixed academic/public space. Particular attention will be attached to writing exercises in the formats of academic papers, abstracts and short statements.



Note nach Präsentation / Einreichen von finaler Arbeit

Consists in the active participation and contribution (discursive, textual and performative).

The module grading is based on the mentioned contribution, active in-class participation and submission of written assignments (word minimum of 1.500 total



Die Veranstaltung wurde 3 mal im Vorlesungsverzeichnis WiSe 2020/21 gefunden:
Wissenschaftsmodule  - - - 1
Wissenschaftsmodule  - - - 2

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