<p>Thomas Demand, <em>Attempt</em>, 2005, <br>© Thomas Demand, VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn / ZAPA, Warsaw</p>
<p>Thomas Demand, <em>Attempt</em>, 2005, <br>© Thomas Demand, VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn / ZAPA, Warsaw</p>

No. 2: Images of Terror / Visibility of History

Managing editor: Katarzyna Bojarska

Thomas Demand, Attempt, 2005, 
© Thomas Demand, VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn / ZAPA, Warsaw

This issue was supported by the Polish Minister of Science and Higher Education, through the “National Programme for the Development of the Humanities” for the years 2012-2014, and by the National Science Centre, through the grant no. DEC-2012/05/B/HS2/03985, for the project Visual Culture in Poland: Languages, Concepts, Metaimages.

Table of Contents

Introduction

  1. The Images of Terror/Visibility of History

    ”The Images of Terror/Visibility of History”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 2 (2013), https://www.pismowidok.org/en/archive/2013/2-images-of-terror-visibility-of-history/the-images-of-terrorvisibility-of-history

    Introduction to the second issue.

Close-up

  1. An Archival Impulse: The Return of 1970s Leftwing Terrorism in Contemporary German Art.

    Svea Bräunert, ”An Archival Impulse: The Return of 1970s Leftwing Terrorism...”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 2 (2013), https://www.pismowidok.org/en/archive/2013/2-images-of-terror-visibility-of-history/an-archival-impulse-the-return-of-1970s-leftwing-terrorism

    As the controversial Kunstwerke exhibition “Imagining Terror” (“Zur Vorstellung des Terrors”, 2005) has shown, an intimate bond exists between leftwing terrorism and the arts. From the 1970s onward, the arts have steadily been preoccupied with West German terrorism, turning it into one of the most prominent yet also most contested topics in German art today. Part of its attraction lie in its interdisciplinary character, connecting terrorism to various fields such as media theory, art history, and memory studies. As such, leftwing terrorism has come to constitute its own kind of archive, and probing into it can uncover traces beyond its immediate topicality.

    Drawing primarily on two recent essays – Hal Foster’s “An Archival Impulse” (October, 2004) and James Meyer’s “The Return of the Sixties in Contemporary Art and Criticism” (Antinomies of Art and Culture, 2008) –, the following article will take a look at contemporary German art’s renewed fascination with leftwing terrorism, asking what might be at stake when a new generation of artists simultaneously draws on and expands upon this archive. Some of the trends one can observe in this process are a reformatting of history, a shift in focus to themes previously tossed aside and forgotten, and a retelling of stories as counterfactual. They speak to an interest in the 1970s that is not only topical but also aesthetic in nature. Artworks exemplifying this kind of archival impulse include Thomas Demand’s “Attempt” (2005), and Andree Korpys/ Markus Löffler’s “Conspirative Housing Project Spindy” (1997-2001).

  2. Comments on the Ghost of the RAF

    Klaus Theweleit, ”Comments on the Ghost of the RAF”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 2 (2013), https://www.pismowidok.org/en/archive/2013/2-images-of-terror-visibility-of-history/comments-on-the-ghost-of-the-raf

    The essay takes up the question of “radicality” in art in the context of the events of the so-called German Autumn. The author tries to show that it is the “claim to leadership of art,” and the fear of becoming caught up in the trivial, that pushes artists to align themselves with radical politics. He demonstrates that at the same time the most radical gestures – radical because they are based on an explicit acknowledgement of one’s own position in the given historical situation – are more likely to go unnoticed.

  3. Terror and Memory

    Jakub Majmurek, ”Terror and Memory”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 2 (2013), https://www.pismowidok.org/pl/archiwum/2013/2-obrazy-terroru-widzialnosc-historii/terror-i-pamiec

    The article is devoted to the struggles undertaken in the cinema of the last few decades to portray the events and memories of left-wing terrorism in Europe in the 1970s. The main object of interest are two national contexts: that of Germany and that of Italy. Both of these traditions have addressed the events of the era in an especially multilayered manner. The article provides not only the general panorama of social and political transformations but also interpretations of numerous films from 1970s onwards.

  4. The Suspension of Sight in Time

    Agnieszka Jakimiak, ”The Suspension of Sight in Time”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 2 (2013), https://www.pismowidok.org/pl/archiwum/2013/2-obrazy-terroru-widzialnosc-historii/zawieszenie-wzroku-w-czasie

    How does the viewers look on the screen constitute her experience? What constitutes a common experience amongst viewers? How do we become engaged and when does cinema provoke us to respond? The author of this article tries to answer these questions by analyxing the films of German director Rainer Werner Fassbinder. Fassbinder challenges the eye of the viewer, deconstructing our perceptual and interpretative habits, and encourages us to revise our notions of engaged and political cinema.

  5. Terrorism, Feminism,. Sisters, and Twins: Building. Relations in the Wake of the World Trade Center Attacks

    Karen Beckman, ”Terrorism, Feminism,. Sisters, and Twins: Building. ”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 2 (2013), https://www.pismowidok.org/pl/archiwum/2013/2-obrazy-terroru-widzialnosc-historii/terroryzm-feminizm-siostry-i-bliznieta-budowanie-relacji-w

    The essay is an attempt at answering to the “urgent need to complicate the relationship between feminism and violence,” by way of an interpretation of Margarethe von Trotta’s Marianne and Juliane (Die bleierne Zeit). Taking a Freudian slip – the substitution of a panelist in a discussion about 9/11 of the word “terrorism” for “feminism” – as her point of departure, the author looks at what might in fact connect these figures. She opposes the cultural essentialisation of violence, and in her analyses makes productive the power of ambivalence and of “back-stretched relations” to “move beyond a notion of America that depends upon either absolute sameness or absolute difference,” beyond the logic of “us” versus “them.”

  6. Did The War On Terror Take Place?

    Łukasz Zaremba, ”Did The War On Terror Take Place?”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 2 (2013), https://www.pismowidok.org/pl/archiwum/2013/2-obrazy-terroru-widzialnosc-historii/czy-wojny-z-terroryzmem-rowniez-nie-bylo

    The text focuses on the visual dimension of the contemporary "war on terror". Its first part - showing the similarities and differences between the first Gulf War and the current war - gives a brief summary of visual analysis of these two wars (seen as wars of images, or wars constructed by visual media). In the second part, the author - following Susan Buck Morss' and W.J.T. Mitchell's argument about a mistake of applying the concept of war to global terror - shows the way in which "the war on terror" constructs and affirms itself through verbal and visual means. The main argument of the text is that the visual dimension of the "war on terror" incloudes not only images and visual media but also the conditions of recognition and identification of "the enemy".

  7. The third one between the towers

    Dorota Ogrodzka, ”The third one between the towers”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 2 (2013), https://www.pismowidok.org/pl/archiwum/2013/2-obrazy-terroru-widzialnosc-historii/trzecia-miedzy-wiezami

    The article is an attempt at analysing the American-British documentary film Man on Wire by James Marsh. The film tells the story of a French tightrope walker, Philippe Petita, who in 1974 walked on a line stretched between the World Trade Center towers in New York City. The author discusses this gesture in relation to the event of 9/11 and reflects on its critical potential.

  8. Suspension of / in History

    Katarzyna Bojarska, ”Suspension of / in History”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 2 (2013), https://www.pismowidok.org/pl/archiwum/2013/2-obrazy-terroru-widzialnosc-historii/zawieszenie-w-historii

    The article sketches the issue of the crisis of traditional thinking about history as a cause-and-effect sequence, a story of and about duration of the world and human civilisation in which particular events find its adequate place (and explanation). The author is interested in the aesthetics which follows the transformation of the status of the event as well as its structural similarity to the notion of trauma.

  9. Archival mania

    Suely Rolnik, ”Archival mania”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 2 (2013), https://www.pismowidok.org/pl/archiwum/2013/2-obrazy-terroru-widzialnosc-historii/mania-archiwow

    In recent decades, the art world’s interest in archives has increased steadily, developing into a true “compulsion to archive.” In her text, Suely Rolnik describes the root of this tendency in Conceptual art of the 1960s and 1970s, and focusing on the countries of Latin America that were under military dictatorships. She sees one explanation for this in “unconscious colonial repression,” which, like the dictatorial regimes in these countries, left behind a far-reaching trauma and led to a split between the poetic and the political, widened through the misunderstandings of “official” art history, which interprets the artistic practices that are found there in terms of a “political” or “ideological” Conceptual art. Against this background erupts the will to turn toward the archives anew and reactivate the fusion of poetic and political forces.

  10. Terrorist Puzzle

    Iga Gańczarczyk, ”Terrorist Puzzle”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 2 (2013), https://www.pismowidok.org/en/archive/2013/2-images-of-terror-visibility-of-history/terrorist-puzzle

    Focusing on Małgorzata Sikorska-Miszczuk's play Death of the Squirrel-Man, the article traces the complex relationship between terror, theatre and the archive, as well as the power of the myth of the Red Army Faction. The author analyzes the theatrical strategies of reusing archival materials and the potential of using them critically.

Perspectives

  1. Why Martha Rosler wants to make me buy?

    Martha Rosler, Krzysztof Pijarski, ”Why Martha Rosler wants to make me buy?”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 2 (2013), https://www.pismowidok.org/en/archive/2013/2-images-of-terror-visibility-of-history/why-martha-rosler-wants-to-make-me-buy

    Martha Rosler in conversation with Krzysztof Pijarski, about her Meta-Monumental Garage Sale (2012), Occupy Wall Street and the world of art.

  2. Unpredictable becomings of public life

    Joanna Sokołowska, ”Unpredictable becomings of public life”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 2 (2013), https://www.pismowidok.org/en/archive/2013/2-images-of-terror-visibility-of-history/unpredictable-becomings-of-public-life

    The article deals with the exhibition as a medium for articulation of the politics of art. On several examples of curated projects, the author discusses her practice in relation to theoretical texts related to the politics of art as an autonomous engagement in the social field, politics and historical narratives. The model that is of interest to the author employs fiction, translation and untimely temporal logic, avoiding communication of specific content. The exhibition is treated here as a site for experiencing the poetics of the relation between individual voices translated in the language of art, ambivalent fragments of history and meaningless testimonies, which creates a divided community based on diversity, singularity and lack of affinity.

Viewpoint

  1. Death of the Squirrel Man

    Małgorzata Sikorska-Miszczuk, ”Death of the Squirrel Man”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 2 (2013), https://www.pismowidok.org/en/archive/2013/2-images-of-terror-visibility-of-history/death-of-the-squirrel-man

    Death of the Squirrel Man was written in 2006 and awarded the first honorary mention at the competition "ulrike.” It was staged twice: by Marcin Liber (2006), and by Natalia Korczakowska (2007). The text received a honorary mention uring the 13th Polish Competition for Staging of Contemporary Play organised by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage. A slightly shortened version of the play was published by a theatre journal "Dialog” (2007, vol. 5). It was also made into a radio-play by Jan Klata. The play was translated into several foreign languages, among them English, German, Swedish and Czech; it was published in a collection of European drama, entiteled New Europe – Plays From the Continent (New York 2010).

  2. A Terrorist in the Archive: The Death of the Squirrel-Man by Małgorzata Sikorska-Miszczuk

    Weronika Szczawińska, ”A Terrorist in the Archive: The Death of the Squirrel-Man by...”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 2 (2013), https://www.pismowidok.org/en/archive/2013/2-images-of-terror-visibility-of-history/a-terrorist-in-the-archive-the-death-of-the-squirrel-man-by

    The article presents an analysis of the play Death of the Squirrel-Man by Małgorzata Sikorska-Miszczuk, which concentrates on strategies of represenation of the traces of historical events in the performative arts. The piece is being treated here as a kind of memorial phantasy, a variation on the figure of Ulrike Meinhof and the activity of the RAF, and is an example of Polish theatre's enagagement with the issue of terrrorism, offering a unique insight into the practices of memory of 1970's terrorism.

  3. all.fm free radio jaffa

    Katarzyna Krakowiak, ”all.fm free radio jaffa”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 2 (2013), https://www.pismowidok.org/en/archive/2013/2-images-of-terror-visibility-of-history/kopia-all.fm-free-radio-jaffa

    Presentation of the project all.fm free radio jaffa by Katarzyna Krakowiak

    keywords: art; radio; Palestine; Israel

  4. Free Radio Jaffa - Hearing the Unheard

    Ewelina Godlewska-Byliniak, ”Free Radio Jaffa - Hearing the Unheard”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 2 (2013), https://www.pismowidok.org/en/archive/2013/2-images-of-terror-visibility-of-history/free-radio-jaffa-hearing-the-unheard

    The article was inspired by Katarzyna Karkowiak's "Free Radio Jaffa" from the series all.fm. The point of departure is a film clip documenting the radio intervention by the artist in Jaffa, Israel. The author examines the relationship between the noise and the message as well as the status of interference.

  5. Interception

    Roch Forowicz, ”Interception”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 2 (2013), https://www.pismowidok.org/en/archive/2013/2-images-of-terror-visibility-of-history/interception

    Prezentacja serii projektow artystycznych Rocha Forowicza z serii Interception.

  6. To the Other Side of a One-Way Mirror: Roch Forowicz’s Interception Series

    Łukasz Zaremba, ”To the Other Side of a One-Way Mirror: Roch Forowicz’s Interception”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 2 (2013), https://www.pismowidok.org/pl/archiwum/2013/2-obrazy-terroru-widzialnosc-historii/po-drugiej-stronie-lustra-weneckiego.-interception-rocha-forowicza

    Łukasz Zaremba's commentary on Roch Forowicz's Interceprion Series.

Snapshots

  1. Modernism, Structural Imagination and the "Method"

    Agnieszka Rejniak-Majewska, ”Modernism, Structural Imagination and the "Method"”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 2 (2013), https://www.pismowidok.org/pl/archiwum/2013/2-obrazy-terroru-widzialnosc-historii/modernizm-strukturalna-wyobraznia-i-metoda

    Review of the Polish translation of Rosalind E. Krauss's "Originality of the Avant-Garde".

  2. Windows, Wallpaper, and Screens

    Godfre Leung, ”Windows, Wallpaper, and Screens”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 2 (2013), https://www.pismowidok.org/en/archive/2013/2-images-of-terror-visibility-of-history/windows-wallpaper-and-screens

    A review of the exhibitions:

     

    “Matisse: In Search of True Painting,” organized by Rebecca Rabinow, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, December 4, 2012 – March 17, 2013

     

    “Wade Guyton OS,” organized by Scott Rothkopf, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, October 4, 2012 – January 13, 2013

  3. The City: to see, to show, to repaint

    Iwona Kurz, ”The City: to see, to show, to repaint”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 2 (2013), https://www.pismowidok.org/pl/archiwum/2013/2-obrazy-terroru-widzialnosc-historii/miasto-zobaczyc-pokazac-przemalowac

    Review of two books: 

    Niewidzialne miasto, ed. Marek Krajewski, Fundacja Bęc Zmiana, Warszawa 2012.

    Rafał Drozdowski, Maciej Frąckowiak, Marek Krajewski, Łukasz Rogowski, Narzędziownia. Jak badaliśmy (niewidzialne) miasto, Fundacja Bęc Zmiana, Warszawa 2012.

  4. World Shall Look Different

    Adam Mazur, ”World Shall Look Different”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 2 (2013), https://www.pismowidok.org/pl/archiwum/2013/2-obrazy-terroru-widzialnosc-historii/swiat-bedzie-wygladal-inaczej

    Review of the book titled "Fotospołeczeństwo. Antologia tekstów z socjologii wizualnej", eds. Małgorzata Bogunia-Borowska, Piotr Sztompka, ZNAK, Kraków 2012.

  5. Do wglądu

    ”Do wglądu”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 2 (2013), https://www.pismowidok.org/pl/archiwum/2013/2-obrazy-terroru-widzialnosc-historii/do-wgladu

    Propozycje lektur.