Change Through Repetition: Mimesis as a Transformative Principle Between Art and Politics (Paperback)
Art and politics are related through repetition. Both realms are structured by practices of repetition and share a common room of sens(e)uality – aesthetics in the emphatic sense of the word. It is the aesthetics and practices of repetition that reveal the relation between both realms. This volume proposes to explore aesthetic and cultural phenomena that effect change in the non-aesthetical realm, not so much in spite, but precisely because of their being ‘mere’ repetitions. Repetition shapes art works through procedures and processes of reproduction, copying, depiction, or reenactment. As representation of the world, mimetic art’s relationship to the political and social world can be conceived as repetition. When can mimetic works of art nonetheless become a trigger, participant in or vehicle for political and social transformation? How can practices such as performative gender constitution and propaganda, which (ostensibly) affirm regimes of visibility, be understood as processes of change through repetition? How do commemorative cultures and practices of documentation interrelate? How is historical reality produced through mimesis with a view to an imaginary political future? By exploring works of art from a wide range of historical periods, places, media and contexts – from the political thought hidden in Hegel’s Aesthetics through Hélène Cixous’s practice of writing difference(s), from contemporary applied theater through the Gezi Park Uprising in 2013, and from installations of fictional national museums through to the artistic commemoration of assassinated political activists in Iran – all contributions in this volume attempt to show how a concept of change through repetition can help redefine the relationship between art and politics and to enlighten us on the transformative potential of repetition in ‘political art’.
With contributions by Yarden Ben-Zur, Babylonia Constantinides, Alexander García Düttmann, Simon Gröger, Annika Haas, Leonie Hunter, Elisa Leroy, Bahar Majdzadeh, Brigitte Rath, Doris Rebhan, Florencia Sannders, Burak Üzümkesici, Matthias Warstat, Penny Dan Xu, and Johanna Zorn.
About the Author
Babylonia Constantinides studied Fine Arts and Media Theory at the Academy of Fine Arts Munich and German Literature and Art History at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich. Her artistic work is represented in the collection of Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus and arsenal – institut für film und videokunst. Within the framework of a cotutelle de these between the MIMESIS International Doctoral Program at LMU Munich and the Department of Film Studies at the University of Zurich she is currently working on her dissertation on biographical film.
Simon Gröger studied Theater Studies and Philosophy at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich. He graduated in 2017 with a study about the theatrical aesthetics of Michel Foucault’s conceptualization of parrhesia. Since 2017 he is a PhD candidate at the MIMESIS International Doctoral Program at LMU Munich with a thesis about the aesthetics and political dynamics of staging past events in the works of theater director Milo Rau and his company, the International Institute of Political Murder.
Elisa Leroy is a freelance dramaturg and scholar working in Munich, Berlin and Paris. She is currently completing her PhD on Text and performance in Shakespeare’s Hamlet at the MIMESIS International Doctoral Program at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich. Her scholarly interests include Shakespeare and Elizabethan drama / theater practice, acting theory, and the intersection between theater and gender theory. She most recently collaborated with Thomas Ostermeier for La nuit des rois ou Tout ce que vous voulez by William Shakespeare (Comédie Française, 2018) and Qui a tué mon père? by Édouard Louis (FIND Festival, Schaubühne 2020).
Doris Rebhan studied Arts of Africa, Philosophy and Religion & Culture at Freie Universität Berlin and Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. In her research she focuses on contemporary art in the context of transcultural negotiations, with particular interest in art of the African and Arab regions and questions of fiction and fake as strategies of critique. As a PhD candidate at the MIMESIS International Doctoral Program at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich she is currently working on a dissertation on Fictional States as a reflection of contemporary concepts of the nation-state.