On Amelie von Wulffen at Barbara Weiss, Berlin

— Jay Chung

Amelie von Wulffen, ohne Titel, 2016, oil on canvas, 39.4 × 47.2 in.

Amelie von Wulffen, ohne Titel, 2016, oil on canvas, 39.4 × 47.2 in.

Der Tote im Sumpf

“And those who have stayed on in their homeland? Often they are still more homeless than those who have been driven from their homeland.”[1]

“What convinces masses are not facts …”[2]

Heidegger is briefly mentioned in Nell Zink’s comic meta-fictional novel Private Novelist. Zink, herself a character in the book, relates how, after finishing Being and Time in German, she concluded that the esteemed philosopher was an idiot. As for his writing, she explains:

His etymological curios, so bewitching in translation, flaunt in their transparently moronic original an air of validity on the order of: [Insert here impromptu Heidegger imitation of choice, e.g., “Seattle, we see, is a fine place to sit,” or “The word ‘boring’ suggests a drill-like, twisting action; you will recall from our discussion of ‘screwing’ …” or “Poodles come from puddles.”[3]

This casual brushing-off of Heidegger, who is presumed by many to be among the most important philosophers of the twentieth century, and whose complete works now span a hundred volumes, might make Zink the idiot. But compare her parody to an actual passage by Heidegger, such as this one, from Letter on Humanism:

What else does that in turn betoken but that man (homo) become human (humanus)? Thus humanitas really does remain the concern of such thinking. For this is humanism: meditating and caring, that human beings be human and not inhumane, “inhuman,” that is outside their essence.[4]

Anyone who finds the second passage more endowed with gravitas than a dissection of boring and screwing is likely partial to Heidegger in the first place; they would seek to distinguish the vulgarity of Zink’s puns from the elevated seriousness of an inquiry into the essence of humanity. Likewise, those who find the two passages equally esoteric or nonsensical would probably, like Zink, be Heidegger detractors. According to Pierre Bourdieu (who finds himself among those having a critical view of Heidegger), this tendency of the philosophy to split its
readership is one of its defining characteristics. Bourdieu locates the root cause of the division in the philosophy’s rhetoric, which he sees as having its basis in a kind of duplicitousness, a deliberately obscure form of “double dealing.” On the one hand, Bourdieu contends, Heidegger’s philosophical language is composed of neologisms derived from everyday language. The Heideggerian coinage Mitsein (literally to-be-with), for example, represents a specific concept with a distinct philosophical meaning. Heidegger employs the word in such a way that it resonates with other idiosyncratic terms, both formally and semantically, such as Dasein (being-there), and In-der-Welt-sein (to-be-in-the-world). In connecting a range of individual terms in this manner, a complex system of
correspondences is established, what Bourdieu calls a “network of relations.” As a result, the odd but patently simple German phrases are transformed; the new setting makes them appear as if endowed with a special significance of greater import.
Heidegger’s “ideolect,” as Bourdieu describes it, nevertheless retains an ambiguous relationship to common language. The colloquial origin of Heidegger’s terminology remains present in the form of “phantasms,” latent but willfully disregarded connotations. The term Fürsorge (care-for), for example, implies the ordinary usage of the word in everyday speech in words like Sozialfürsorge (social welfare), despite Heidegger and his interpreters’s insistence that this connotation is irrelevant to the philosophical definition of Fürsorge as “solicitude.” According to Bourdieu, each terminological concept “evokes,” or alludes to ordinary meanings and associations, and simultaneously denies, or “revokes” them. In practice, this means that Heidegger’s advocates preside over the proper use and meaning of Heidegger’s language, preserving the philosophical system’s internal coherence, while also repudiating any interpretation that incorrectly connects the system to incidental, mundane connotations.
Whether or not Heidegger means to be evoke Sozialfürsorge in using the term Fürsorge is more than just an esoteric academic question. As is widely known, while presiding as rector of the University of Freiburg, Heidegger implemented anti-semitic policies, denying financial aid to students of Jewish origin and denouncing his colleagues and rivals to the Nazis as being opponents of National Socialism and associates of Jews. In many cases, these actions had calamitous results. After resigning from his post in 1934, Heidegger continued to signal his support for the Nazis in public addresses and writings. In 2014, the publication of a set of Heidegger’s private notebooks, known as the “Black Notebooks,” revealed the extent to which Heidegger personally identified with National Socialism, contradicting statements made by the philosopher in which he either equivocated regarding his support for the Nazis or portrayed himself as a reluctant victim of historical circumstance.
Heidegger’s defenders claim his politics, though repugnant, do not compromise his philosophical ideas. The philosopher’s personal identity should be kept separate from his thinking, they insist. Yet the two are, in fact, inextricable.

***

In a lecture presented in 1969, on the occasion of Heidegger’s eightieth birthday, Hannah Arendt undertook to absolve the philosopher of the stigma coming from his association with National Socialism by appealing, ultimately, to the same distinction between the elevated and the mundane evident in Heidegger’s use of language. Arendt’s lecture begins with a reconstruction of the context in which Heidegger’s reputation was first established. At a time when the discipline of philosophy was dominated by a stodgy academicism, German philosophy students were eager to rebel; they sought an escape from the banality of philosophy as defined by tradition. What appealed to the students in Heidegger, recalls Arendt, was his “passionate thinking.” Heidegger’s students had only known thinking about philosophy; they were merely reiterating and categorizing. Their occupation seemed to them as trivial as any other in the sphere of everyday human affairs. Heidegger’s thinking, in contrast, seemed to retreat from—and surpass—these goings on of the everyday. It was something wholly elemental, a reawakening
to “wonder,” “stillness,” and “serenity.” In Arendt’s words, “Heidegger never thinks about something, he thinks something.” She offers a quote from Heidegger’s Discourse on Thinking:

The end of life is death, but man does not live for death’s sake, but because he is a living being; and he does not think for the sake of any result whatever, but because he is a “thinking, that is, a musing being.”[5]

The “Hidden King,” as Arendt playfully calls Heidegger, found a kind of sovereignty in this withdrawal from the bustling thoughtlessness of modernity. One may remember some experience of being temporarily overwhelmed by wonder, and thus torn out of the world of the everyday, but Heidegger lived in this metaphorical state of retreat; it was his domain––in Heideggerian parlance, his “residence.”
Heidegger’s decision to support the Nazis, Arendt argues in her lecture, was not the result of an ethical failing, but a misguided attempt to leave the sequestered domain of thinking for the world of human affairs. Arendt claims it was Heidegger’s tendency to see and understand the world from the hermetic viewpoint of passionate thinking that led to his particular misconception of the Nazis. According to Arendt, Heidegger realized this mistake shortly after his emergence into the world at large, after which he retreated once again to “settle in his thinking what he had experienced.”
Even apart from the recently surfaced evidence that Heidegger saw the Nazis as a means to satisfy his own ambitions, Arendt’s argument remains unconvincing. Heidegger, she seems to be saying, deserves a reprieve because his true nature is that of the philosopher-king, someone who is ennobled by a complete abandonment to thinking. The blame, she writes, “should be imputed not just to the circumstances of the times and even less to preformed character, but rather to what the French call a déformation professionelle. Arendt willfully ignores, or negates the aspects of Heidegger’s person that she deems inessential to his so-called “true” identity as a pure thinker, just as Heidegger’s interpreters negate the meanings and connotations of Heidegger’s idiosyncratic terminology by claiming they are not relevant to a philosophy whose language is purely self-referential and internally coherent.
The “phantasmic” in Heidegger’s language—the veiled subtext signaling, however vaguely, a contempt for cosmopolitanism, and an atavistic yearning for native soil—is not unimportant. It must be acknowledged as an integral part of Heidegger’s thought, just as, in assessing his political views, one must account for the petty actions against colleagues and students which Heidegger undertook in supporting the ideology of the Nazis. Thomas Sheehan cites what he calls, in comparison to more damning evidence, “trivial” attacks on Heidegger’s character—for instance, Heidegger claimed he never wore the swastika pin or began his classes with the Hitler salute, even as he was photographed wearing the pin and was alleged to have made the salute. The issue is not whether these accusations are relevant to Heidegger’s philosophy, or whether the philosophy can be separated from Heidegger the person; it is that the argument that one should ignore “trivialities” is the same, be it applied in defense of the man or the philosophy.

***

To disregard the subtext of Heidegger’s language would be to appeal to that which Bourdieu calls “rhetoric of the false break.” In Bourdieu’s words, this rhetoric “conceals heteronomy behind the appearance of autonomy.” The “false break” does not only apply to philosophy: Bourdieu also describes a corresponding, equivalent “double dealing” in the notion of l’art pour l’art. Following this analogy, Heidegger’s specialized use of ordinary words can be compared to Duchamp’s Readymades, everyday objects whose vernacular connotations are cast off as they assume the status of art. We are certain that Duchamp never sought to address the issues of blizzards, coal mining, wine storage, or public sanitation, even as the Readymades are no different from ordinary material goods. The “internal” reading of the Readymades, that is, the reading which considers them independently and autonomously from anything outside the realm of the specialized discourse of art, negates the colloquial understanding of these objects, while at the same time phantasmically preserving it.[6]
The Readymade is also deliberately inscrutable; it’s meaning is apparently left completely open to interpretation. But despite this apparent laxity, Duchamp also insists on the authority to speak on its behalf. A recurring trope in his numerous interviews is his explicit rejection or authorization of different successive interpretations of his work. In so doing, he maintains for himself––and those who are properly initiated––the sole authority to control the Readymades elevated significance within the discourse of “advanced” avant-garde art.[7] According to Bourdieu, this form of rhetoric, which has a corresponding social element, has been conceived in a way to create doubt:

The reader may of course understand only too well, but he is persuaded to doubt the authenticity of his own understanding, and to prohibit the yardstick of its own comprehension.[8]

Bourdieu further describes how the accumulation and circulation of specialized discourse insulates this discourse from “objective truth,” that is, any implication that it is dependent on an empirical, or sociological reality.

The most sophisticated symbolic strategies can never produce completely the conditions of their own success and would be doomed to failure if they could not count on the active complicity of a whole body of individuals who defend orthodoxy and orchestrate — by amplifying it— the initial condemnation of reductive readings.[9]

***

The social processes that confer legitimacy are a recurring theme in Amelie von Wulffen’s comic book works November and At The Cool Table. In these works, Wulffen gives an account of daily life in the art milieu, as seen and experienced by a protagonist apparently modeled after herself. At their most overt level, the works seem to be a cathartic release: Wulffen’s narrative indulges in petty social slights, depicting the suffering she endures from anxieties related to the institutional ordering of her social life. Wulffen portrays herself doing her best to advance her somewhat stalling career, while fretting over the recognition conferred on others. In one episode, Wulffen’s sister, who is not an artist, is inexplicably selected to be included in documenta; when Wulffen hears about it, she is at first incredulous, then despairing.
documenta and the titular “cool table” are portrayed in Wulffen’s comics as being two manifestations of essentially the same thing; Wulffen’s protagonist is hampered by an obsessive tunnel vision that reduces every social situation to a test of self-worth. In her eyes, her sister’s inclusion in the cultural festival and her own second-class seating at dinner are equally galling. Wulffen parodies these forms of validation by showing how they are at once arbitrary and utterly banal, while also depicting the correlation between the artist’s frayed psychological state and the absurdity of her social interactions relating to power and status.
November and At the Cool Table are at their most perceptive when they describe the contradictions underlying the various types of recognition conferred by differing mechanisms. Wulffen’s character finds herself rebuffed by the official culture of the state—“Man, this bitch doesn’t even recognize me,” thinks Wulffen to herself in one scene—but she can also count on the recognition she enjoys within the narrower social circle of the “advanced” milieu—“Doesn’t she know who I am, the scene darling Amelie von Wulffen—a role model for young artists?” Similarly, Wulffen’s comics deal with the inconsistencies inherent in the normative values of the art scene, which paradoxically encourages its participants to both defy and conform to its standards. The scene’s narrow metrics for success often come to resemble petty bourgeois forms of conventionality (in a scene in At the Cool Table, Wulffen is depicted fretting over the types of refreshments offered at the studios of more well-known artists); at the same time, it seems to dictate that the artist rebel against these very expectations.[10]
Wulffen’s portrayal of these disjunctions and inconsistencies gives November and At the Cool Table an undercurrent of ambivalence and skepticism towards all forms of cultural legitimation, including those that support Wulffen’s own work. The comics undermine the notion of the art field’s autonomy by parodying the social structures that govern it. Ultimately, however, this refusal to acknowledge the authority of cultural validation has a tragic character, in the sense that it both self-defeating and quixotic. The ever growing field of specialized discourse concerning art—the professional commitment to manufacturing internal coherences between specific artworks and practices on historical, theoretical, and formal levels, by a multitude of “critical” mediating practices such as curating exhibitions, art criticism, and art education—negates, by virtue of its relentless proliferation, the observations made in Wulffen’s work. Fittingly, the most prominent formal device in the comics is the framing of the narrative as a series of dreams. When Wulffen “wakes up,” her torments come to seem self-inflicted and imaginary––in other words, merely subjective.

***

A new series of works in Wulffen’s most recent exhibition, Der Tote im Sumpf, metaphorically transposes the cool table to the broader context of national identity. Here, Wulffen replaces the restaurant table with a rustic dining table in a nineteenth-century rural setting. A circle of traditionally clad figures hunch over the table with their bodies turned away from the viewer, physically demonstrating their insularity. This image is recycled several times in Der Tote im Sumpf, reappearing each time with slight modifications to the image or its format. It was derived from the work of the nineteenth century genre painter Franz Defregger, who counted as one of a small group of “Hitler’s favorite painters.” Defregger’s work in particular was lauded by the Nazis as a counter-example to modern art; it became synonymous with a cultural program that put art in the service of an ideologically constructed notion of Germanic spirit.
Wulffen situates the Defregger image among other figures closely related to the ideological construction of German identity. The cockchafer, for instance, which Wulffen presents in the form of a ceramic sculpture on a wooden base made of scraps of furniture (all works Untitled, 2016) is a folkloric symbol associated with Wilhelm Busch’s illustrated classic Max and Moritz. Just as well-known is Maikäfer flieg (Cockchafer Fly), a German children’s rhyme and folk song commonly associated with the horrors of war and collective defeat. More recently, the cockchafer’s capacity to evoke German national identity has been employed by Anselm Kiefer, whose painting Maikäfer Flieg (1974) depicts burning fires on a blackened battlefield. Wulffen seems to reaffirm this nod to Kiefer in another painting, which depicts the poet Paul Celan, whose poetry and personal history were also a central leitmotiv for Kiefer (Celan, for his part, was deeply influenced by Heidegger). Many of Kiefer’s works—including the paintings Margarete (1981) and Schulamith (1983), both of which are named after characters in Celan’s Todesfuge—use Celan’s poetry as a means to address the ruination of German identity after the Holocaust.[11]
In an essay addressing the representation of contemporary German history in painting, “A Note on Gerhard Richter’s October 18, 1977,” Benjamin Buchloh singles out Kiefer’s work as epitomizing what he calls polit-kitsch. For Buchloh, Kiefer’s appeal to a universally shared sentiment of German-ness is disingenuous; in actual fact, the artist’s work caters to a privileged elite who use it to assert their own authority.[12] What is more, Kiefer’s appeal to German identity cynically perpetuates both obsolete models of historical representation in painting, and obsolete notions of national identity; the work is of a revisionist mindset that seeks to “to revamp its concept of traditional identity for the sake of reconstituting a national history.”[13] This bad faith ‘historical grave robbery,’ as Buchloh calls it, is all the more problematic in that the mythology it puts forward actually imposes an obstacle to dealing with the challenges of creating a viable identity that is relevant and truthful to the realities of contemporary globalized life.[14]

Further on in Buchloh’s essay, the solemnity of Kiefer’s resurrection of Further on in Buchloh’s essay, the solemnity of Kiefer’s resurrection of German identity is contrasted with the cold-blooded way Kiefer’s work is used in the sphere of cultural programming. In the form of an anecdote about a planned retrospective of Kiefer’s work, Buchloh relates his shock at the crassness of a museum curator who tells him, with a blitheness right out of one of Wulffen’s comics, “Kiefer is sexier than Richter,” ostensibly meaning that Kiefer’s work is more sensational than Richter’s (Kiefer’s sensationalism was even evident from his earliest works, including a series of photos in which he enacts the Hitler salute in various settings). For the curator, Kiefer is a more efficient vehicle to realize his ambitions. Buchloh continues:

[This] quip has stayed with me for several reasons. First, it constituted my initial encounter with a new managerial type of curator, a type that has increasingly replaced the institutional curator, who perceived him- or herself essentially as a scholar in the service of an institution of the public sphere. Condensed as this casual remark may have been, it nevertheless indicated that the managerial curator would conceive exhibitions on the model of the advertising campaign and seasonally determined produced innovation.[15]

Today, nearly thirty years after the essay on Richter was published, Buchloh’s indignation at the curator’s cynicism seems all but quaint. But his point stands: Buchloh brings out the disparity between Kiefer’s false historical reckoning and the system of commerce of which it is a part. To form an opinion of Kiefer’s work without acknowledging the social context personified by the curator in Buchloh’s anecdote would be to fall prey to a specific kind of misrecognition, the same kind of denial as that of Heidegger’s interpreters.
Der Tote im Sumpf, for its part, does little to deny its own status as kitsch, polit– or otherwise. In one scene in At the Cool Table, a character tells Wulffen that Heidegger is actually the “head designer” at Lodenfrey, the Munich-based clothing company that produces Trachten, the anachronistic traditional clothing mostly worn at Oktoberfest, but increasingly considered acceptable everyday wear in Bavaria. The dark humor that associates Heidegger with Lodenfrey also animates Der Tote im Sumpf, which revels in bad taste. Along with Lederhosen and Dirndl, the paintings feature framed beach scene screensaver pics, disney-fied siamese cats, and a faux-craquelure effect, which Wulffen apparently achieved using a product she bought at a craft supply store.
The ironic deployment of kitsch in the form of garishness or tackiness is so commonplace in contemporary painting as to be academic. To hang a copy of a Gustave Caillebotte painting next to a cartoon cat, as Wulffen has in Der Tote im Sumpf, is simply to speak the language of today’s seamless world of images. But if there is little more to be said about the dichotomy between “high” and “low,” the broader notion of kitsch employed by Buchloh, that is, the one that sees it as a type of falsehood, remains salient. Instead of equating kitsch with bad taste, which defenders of kitsch claim is pretentious and condescending, this second definition asserts that kitsch is emotional manipulation: specifically that coming out of a misleading, self-serving political agenda. Defregger’s paintings, whatever their shortcomings, are not examples of kitsch because the artist was a bad painter; it is because eighty years ago his work was exhibited next to a placard that read: “Paid for out of the taxes of the German nation.” At the time of the opening of Der Tote im Sumpf, nothing seemed more pertinent than kitsch. In a key painting in Der Tote im Sumpf, Heidegger is portrayed sitting at a table, having coffee with a small group that includes the Israeli philosopher Martin Buber. Wulffen painted the image after a photograph taken in 1957. The original black and white photo is equal parts banal and momentous. Some see in it a symbol of reconciliation. Buber was the editor of Die Welt, a prominent organ of the Zionist movement. After being named honorary professor at the University of Frankfurt am Main in 1923, Buber resigned in protest of Hitler in 1933, and emigrated to Jerusalem. In the post-war period, Buber was a powerful voice for the renewal of Jewish culture, and at the time of his meeting with Heidegger, he was regarded as one of the most important Jewish philosophers. Against the urging of several of his colleagues, and despite publishing papers critical of Heidegger’s work and past, Buber reached out to Heidegger, perhaps with some sort of rapprochement in mind. Quoted in Erinnerungen an Martin Heidegger, Buber describes the meeting as friendly, emphasizing the commonality of their interests:

We were able to laugh about ourselves, two elderly contentious men, full of prejudices and resentment, less about our own than about the prejudices and resentment of our environment—here against the Jews and there against the Nazi Rector.[16]

Heidegger’s attitude toward Buber wavered between enthusiasm and indifference. The two philosophers did, in fact, share ideas in common—both were intensely occupied with language—and there are parallels between their respective bodies of work. But neither could have been unaware of how their meeting would be perceived. From the viewpoint of the present, one immediately recognizes the photo of Buber and Heidegger as one typically suitable for an exercise in public relations. Paul Celan saw the meeting as such; outraged, he wrote that, in meeting Buber, Heidegger was seeking a Persilschein, that is, to be exonerated from his past. But even if the meeting was truly occasioned by a purely philosophical dialogue between the two thinkers, one can scarcely deny that it was framed by another, more sentimental narrative: a companion photograph to the one repainted by Wulffen emphasizes the physical proximity of the two thinkers as they pose for the camera at a lookout point, alongside the facilitators who tried to bring them together.
The narrative suggested by the photograph of Heidegger and Buber fits well within the context of Wulffen’s use of kitsch in Der Tote im Sumpf. There is also, however, another dimension to the inclusion of the image in the show. Wulffen’s grandfather, Clemens von Podewils, was one of the facilitators who brought the philosophers together. Podewils was a personal friend of Heidegger’s; the castle where Buber and Heidegger met was that of Podewils’ brother-in-law, Prince Albrecht of Schaumburg-Lippe. What is one to make of this fact? (It was not present in the exhibition’s press text, but included in a review of the show in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.) Wulffen is two generations and a friendship removed from Heidegger. Perhaps the simplicity of this calculation is its own form of kitsch, insofar as it mythologizes an individual’s biological origins—their family bonds.
Der Tote im Sumpf refers at least two more times to Wulffen’s family, albeit in a different way. In one painting, she depicts herself as an adolescent, playing the piano accompanied by her siblings on the flute and violin. One recognizes in this performance the process of acculturation––the transmission of a staid respect for the arts. Wulffen creates a disjunction in the image by replacing the background with a scene from the nineteenth century (likely also by Defregger), thereby alluding to the alienation and estrangement involved in the Wulffens’ musical education. In a second painting, Wulffen depicts herself as a child, lying on a sofa beside a piano, seemingly paralyzed by existential nausea. Her fingernails have grown out to obscenely long curls, making it impossible for her to practice the music lesson that awaits her above the keyboard. In depicting these episodes alluding to her upbringing, Wulffen illustrates the way one comes to both conform to and reject the society one finds oneself a part of. If every return to childhood entails a return to one’s social origins, it also allows one to see the place from which one comes for what it is. The empty language used to describe one’s roots—the country one is born in, said to be from, the culture one belongs to—is made tangible in the self as it was shaped in childhood. All these things exert their influence, sometimes imperceptibly, as if from a great distance.

  1. [1] Martin Heidegger, “Discourse on Thinking,” in Philosophical and political writings: Martin Heidegger, ed. Manfred Stassen (London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2003), p. 90.
  2. [2] Hannah Arendt, Totalitarianism: Part Three of The Origins of Totalitarianism (San Diego: Harcourt Brace, 1994), p. 49.
  3. [3] Nell Zink, Private Novelist (New York: Harper Collins, 2016), p. 288.
  4. [4] Martin Heidegger. “Letter on Humanism,” in Basic Writings, ed. David Farrell Krell (New York: Harper & Row, 1977), p. 224.
  5. [5] Hannah Arendt, “Martin Heidegger at Eighty,” trans. Albert Hofstadter, The New York Review of Books, October 21, 1971.
  6. [6] In the recent controversy surrounding the work of Kelley Walker at the Contemporary Art Museum, St. Louis, the backlash against Walker’s work was directed specifically at the way his work was being discussed. The connotations of the images Walker uses are usually not addressed in debates about Walker’s work; the images are mostly treated within the context of appropriation, i.e. as examples of images per se. In St. Louis, the reluctance to acknowledge the content of the images, some of which depicted police brutality during the civil rights movement, was criticized by members of the public.
  7. [7] To take one example, refer to this excerpt from an interview in which Yve–Alain Bois rejects Thierry de Duve’s interpretation of the Readymade: “Thierry tries to explain how he finds the Readymade beautiful and thus attempts to fit Duchamp’s Readymade into a Kantian aesthetic, which I find very weird. He knows very well that it is completely contradictory to Duchamp’s desire or strategy.”
  8. [8] Pierre Bourdieu, Language and Symbolic Power (Cambridge: Harvard Univ. Press, 2003), p. 155.
  9. [9] Ibid., p. 153.
  10. [10] “[the artist] in his turn, must merchandise and sell himself—an illusion of himself and his intimate life on the open, competitive avant-garde market. He must promote (or get dealers and critic friends to promote) the value of his special credo, the authenticity of his special vision and—most importantly—the genuineness of his antibourgeois antagonism. Ultimately he must be dependent on and serve the pleasure of this very bourgeois world or enlightened segments of it that his art and life seem to contest.” Carol Duncan, as quoted in Benjamin H. D. Buchloh. “Figures of Authority, Ciphers of Regression: Notes on the Return of Representation in European Painting,” October 16 (1981), pp. 39-68.
  11. [11] Andrea Lauterwein, Anselm Kiefer/Paul Celan: Myth, Mourning and Memory (London: Thames & Hudson, 2007).
  12. [12] Benjamin H. D. Buchloh. “Figures of Authority, Ciphers of Regression: Notes on the Return of Representation in European Painting,” October 16 (1981), pp. 39-68.
  13. [13] Benjamin H. D. Buchloh. “A Note on Gerhard Richter’s October 18, 1977,” October 48 (1989), p. 100.
  14. [14] Malcolm Bull attributes the recent rise of populism in Europe to the devaluation of what he calls “citizenship rent.” “The best predictor of your income is not your race or class but your birthplace,” Bull writes. The current trend sees an increasing decline in the real-world value of the advantages assured to those living in relatively wealthy nations. Buchloh’s views are also echoed in a statement by Yanis Varoufakis: “Today, all political parties who are ambitious for power have to aspire to the construction of a fictional monolithic National Us which cannot possibly represent the superdiversity of modern societies as they really are today.”
  15. [15] Buchloh, “A Note on Gerhard Richter’s October 18, 1977,” p. 100.
  16. [16] Paul Mendes-Flohr, “Martin Buber and Martin Heidegger in Dialogue,” The Journal of Religion 94 (2014), pp. 2-25.
▲ Back to top ◄ BACK TO CONTENTS / MAY #17

► From the same author
Paris de Noche. On “Paris Noche” at Night Gallery, Los Angeles in May #14
On Martin Kippenberger, “Sehr Gut | Very Good” at Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin in May #11
Detroit in May #8
D5 and the Gesture of Withdrawal in May #4
“Paper Trail: Do You Love Me?” at Kunstverein Munich in May #2
for him in May #1