<p>Sophie Ristelhueber, <em>Beirut</em>, 1984, courtesy of the artist</p>
<p>Sophie Ristelhueber, <em>Beirut</em>, 1984, courtesy of the artist</p>

No. 4: Ruin

Managing editor: Krzysztof Pijarski

Sophie Ristelhueber, Beirut, 1984, courtesy of the artist

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 the Goethe-Institut Warschau (special thanks to Georg Blochmann and Dorota Swinarska)

Table of Contents

Introduction

  1. Ruin

    ”Ruin”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 4 (2013), https://www.pismowidok.org/en/archive/2013/4-ruin/ruin

    Introduction to issue four of "View"

Viewpoint

  1. Bunker Mentality

    Arne Schmitt, ”Bunker Mentality”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 4 (2013), https://www.pismowidok.org/en/archive/2013/4-ruin/bunker-mentality

    Presentation of photographic project, Bunker Mentality (2013)

  2. From Bunker Experience to Bunker Mentality

    Arne Schmitt, ”From Bunker Experience to Bunker Mentality”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 4 (2013), https://www.pismowidok.org/en/archive/2013/4-ruin/from-bunker-experience-to-bunker-mentality

    Inspired by theoretical and literary works description of the artist's project dealing with the photographic representation of the postwar reconstruction of German cities.

  3. The Shipyard

    Michał Szlaga, ”The Shipyard”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 4 (2013), https://www.pismowidok.org/en/archive/2013/4-ruin/the-shipyard

    Presentation of the Stocznia project, documenting the decline of the Gdańsk Shipyard

  4. Sic transit gloria mundi

    Alicja Gzowska, ”Sic transit gloria mundi”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 4 (2013), https://www.pismowidok.org/en/archive/2013/4-ruin/sic-transit-gloria-mundi

    An essay accompanying Michał Szlaga’s photographs from the Shipyard series. They primarily document the disappearance of the Gdańsk Shipyards between 2007 and 2013. Buildings, halls, infrastructure components are captured in a state of ruin, in an architectonic moment of transition, becoming a physical representation of loss. This record allows for “a recovery of the sublime and epic dimension of the history that's been played out here” (Adam Mazur).

  5. Civil Alliance

    Ariella Azoulay, ”Civil Alliance”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 4 (2013), https://www.pismowidok.org/en/archive/2013/4-ruin/civil-alliance1

    Presentation of Ariella Azoulay's video work, Civil Alliance (2012)

    The film is in Hebrew and Arabic, with English subtitles

  6. Civil Alliances – Palestine, 1947-1948

    Ariella Azoulay, ”Civil Alliances – Palestine, 1947-1948”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 4 (2013), https://www.pismowidok.org/en/archive/2013/4-ruin/civil-alliances-palestine-1947-1948

    Between November 1947 (The UN Partition Plan for Palestine) and May 1948 (the creation of the State of Israel), many Jewish and Arab communities who cared for their country intensified the negotiations between themselves and initiated urgent encounters, some short and spontaneous, others planned meticulously to the last detail, during which the participants raised demands, sought compromises, set rules, formulated agreements, made promises, sought forgiveness, and made efforts to compensate and reconcile.

    In 2012, Ariella Azoulay directed a film based on archival documents depicting these events. Her essay reflects upon the importance of this chapter for a potential history of Palestine

  7. WB / Fait

    Sophie Ristelhueber, ”WB / Fait”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 4 (2013), https://www.pismowidok.org/en/archive/2013/4-ruin/wb-fait1

    Presentation of two of the artist's projects:

    WB (2005)

    color photographs, silver prints mounted on aluminum and framed

    120 x 150 cm each

    edition: 3

    and

    Fait (1992)

    color photographs, silver prints mounted on aluminum with gilded frames100 x 127 x 5 cmedition: 3

  8. The Artist at War

    Tomasz Szerszeń, ”The Artist at War”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 4 (2013), https://www.pismowidok.org/en/archive/2013/4-ruin/the-artist-at-war

    The work of Sophie Ristelhueber – including both examined projects, WB (2004) and Fait (1992) – proposes a kind of “phenomenology of trace”, meaning human traces, but also traces of war, catastrophe, demolition, and “war index” where affects are crucial.

Close-up

  1. Ruins and Fragments: Air War's Mnemonic Architectures

    Svea Bräunert, ”Ruins and Fragments: Air War's Mnemonic Architectures”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 4 (2013), https://www.pismowidok.org/en/archive/2013/4-ruin/ruins-and-fragments-air-wars-mnemonic-architectures

    Revolving around Arne Schmitt’s photo series Bunkererfahrung/ Bunker Experience (2013), the essay engages with two discourses: 1) theoretical and artistic positions treating the bunker as a mnemonic space of war and modernism, including works by Paul Virilio, Magdalena Jetelová, Jane and Louise Wilson, and Robert Kusmirowski; and 2) debates about the air war and the role it played within West German postwar culture, initiated by W.G. Sebald, Oskar Negt and Alexander Kluge. Schmitt’s bunker series ties into these debates, as it makes a visual argument for the return of the bunker in the concrete structures of postwar modernism. It is hence not focusing on the space of the bunker itself, but on its afterimage. By doing so, Schmitt not only examines the experience of war through the lens of the postwar, but also suggests that we can access the trauma of the air war through that which has taken its place.

  2. Between Nostalgia and (Political) Solidarity. Some Notes on the Gdańsk Shipyard

    Ewa Majewska, ”Between Nostalgia and (Political) Solidarity. Some Notes on the Gdańsk”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 4 (2013), https://www.pismowidok.org/en/archive/2013/4-ruin/between-nostalgia-and-political-solidarity.-some-notes-on-the-gdansk

    In the last thirty years, the Gdańsk Shipyard stood as an example of political mobilization and change. With time, it became a monument, in which the political protest and claims for social equality have been petrified and slowly forgotten. An essay examine how today, in a time when these ruins are disappearing, a rebirth of political agency is mobilized. An author seeks to view this moment through the lens of feminist and radical critical social theories, which aim to help to dismantle the nostalgic aesthetisation of ruins and cross the melancholic toward new forms of the political.

  3. "The Rot Remains": From Ruins to Ruination

    Ann Laura Stoler, ”"The Rot Remains": From Ruins to Ruination”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 4 (2013), https://www.pismowidok.org/pl/archiwum/2013/4-ruinacja/rozklad-pozostaje.-od-ruin-do-rujnacji

    First Polish translation of Ann Laura Stoler's work. The essay is a shortened version of the introduction for a book Imperial Debris, edited by Ann Laura Stoler (Duke University Press, 2013). "The Rot Remains": From Ruins to Ruination can be read as an academic manifesto stressing the necessity to broaden the scope of postcolonial studies, and especially to take into consideration the problem of ruins and ruination as processes that preserve imperial power until our very day.

  4. "Lapsus Imaginis": The Image in Ruins

    Eduardo Cadava, ”"Lapsus Imaginis": The Image in Ruins”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 4 (2013), https://www.pismowidok.org/pl/archiwum/2013/4-ruinacja/lapsus-imaginis.-obraz-w-ruinie

    Polish translation of "Lapsus Imaginis": The Image in Ruins, first published in "October" 96 (2001): pp. 35-60.

  5. The Crisis and Return of the Patriarchal gaze in the Iconography of German Ruin 1945–1949

    Magdalena Saryusz-Wolska, ”The Crisis and Return of the Patriarchal gaze in the...”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 4 (2013), https://www.pismowidok.org/pl/archiwum/2013/4-ruinacja/kryzys-i-powrot-patriarchalnego-spojrzenia-w-ikonografii-niemieckich

    The article deals with German iconography of ruined cities immediately after World War II. During the first years after 1945, there was a huge surplus of women in the German society since many man were killed in the war and many others were still prisoners of war. The consequences of this situation quickly became visible in the public sphere. The main symbol of these period were the strong “rubble women” (Trümmerfrauen), who rebuilt the German cities and were very visible in the iconography of that time. Men were usually depicted as weak “homecomers” (Heimkehrer). The figure of the Heimkehrer in many ways resembles Kaja Silverman´s concept of the “marginal man”. The empirical base of the article are the best known “rubble films” (Trümmerfilme) as well as selected photographs and posters.

  6. Wunderblock Warsaw: The Ruined City, Memory, and Mechanical Reproduction

    Krzysztof Pijarski, ”Wunderblock Warsaw: The Ruined City, Memory, and Mechanical Reprod..”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 4 (2013), https://www.pismowidok.org/en/archive/2013/4-ruin/wunderblock-warsaw-the-ruined-city-memory-and-mechanical-reprod

    In my essay, I set out to posit Warsaw as a Freudian Wunderblock of sorts, inscribing the photographs of its destruction as its ruins proper, as the memory-images that permit it to be read as a spectral city. At the same time, I try to show how one could think of photography - defined as an extension, or supplement of memory - in terms of ruin in its own right.

  7. On the Ruins of Berlin’s Palace of the Republic and a New, Transitory Ruin Motif in Contemporary Art

    Stefanie Gerke, ”On the Ruins of Berlin’s Palace of the Republic and a New...”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 4 (2013), https://www.pismowidok.org/en/archive/2013/4-ruin/on-the-ruins-of-berlins-palace-of-the-republic-and-a-new

    The article considers the term “ruin” with regard to the dismantling and demolition of postwar architecture such as Berlin’s Palace of the Republic (1976). It questions the implications of the term “ruin” in the context of postwar architecture and analyses the role decaying postwar architecture plays in contemporary artworks. What happens to our perspective on these unlikely ruins once they are being removed from the urban landscape?

Panorama

  1. Maryan, or the Life in Death

    Katarzyna Bojarska, ”Maryan, or the Life in Death”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 4 (2013), https://www.pismowidok.org/en/archive/2013/4-ruin/maryan-or-the-life-in-death

    The essay is an attempt at a reading of Maryan S. Maryan's oeuvre in the frame of autobiography, testimony, survival and multidirectional memory. Based on his latest works, it reconstructes the artist's unique historical sensitivity and criticality.

  2. Bodies in the Nazi Visual Field

    Jan Borowicz, ”Bodies in the Nazi Visual Field”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 4 (2013), https://www.pismowidok.org/pl/archiwum/2013/4-ruinacja/ciala-w-nazistowskim-polu-wizualnym

    Author examines body politics in Nazi cinema (Wandering Jew, Jew Süss, Hitlerjunge Quex) in terms of constructing visual identity of nation in opposition to the allegedly non-normative bodies of Jews, mentally ill persons, women, and communists. In the film material he analyses ways in which bodies break down into separate fragments – faces, gestures, hands, and feet – only then to be re-united and identified with the nation.

  3. What is Left of Grandma, or in the Search for a Materialist Theology of Photography and Film

    Adam Lipszyc, ”What is Left of Grandma, or in the Search for a Materialist Theology”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 4 (2013), https://www.pismowidok.org/pl/archiwum/2013/4-ruinacja/co-zostaje-z-babci-czyli-w-poszukiwaniu-materialistycznej-teologii

    Author raises question of possibility of materialistic theology of photography and/or film. He mostly focuses on work of Siegfried Kracauer, especially on his essay Die Photographie (1927) and his classical book Theory of film (1960).

Perspectives

  1. Future Days, or: The Artist as Sightseer

    Sebastian Cichocki, Agnieszka Polska, ”Future Days, or: The Artist as Sightseer”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 4 (2013), https://www.pismowidok.org/en/archive/2013/4-ruin/future-days-or-the-artist-as-sightseer

    Visual essay on Agnieszka Polska's film Future Days (2013).

  2. Remnants of Forgotten States and Resurrection of Suppressed Possibilities

    Udi Edelman, Eyal Danon et al., ”Remnants of Forgotten States and Resurrection of Suppressed...”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 4 (2013), https://www.pismowidok.org/en/archive/2013/4-ruin/remnants-of-forgotten-states-and-resurrection-of-suppressed

    A curatorial essay on the research project and exhibition Where to?, held at the Israeli Center for Digital Art in Holon between April and June 2012. The exhibition set out to reexamine forgotten ideological currents and modes of activity within the framework of the modern Jewish revolution in general, and the Zionist movement in particular. This attempt led to an engagement with these lost possibilities, and their problems, within contemporary Jewish-Israeli existence.

  3. On "Iconophilia": Paralipomena

    Mateusz Salwa, ”On "Iconophilia": Paralipomena”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 4 (2013), https://www.pismowidok.org/pl/archiwum/2013/4-ruinacja/wokol-ikonofilii-paralipomena

    Contribution in a discussion on the book Ikonofilia by Andrzej Leśniak (Warszawa 2013).

  4. On "Iconophilia": Signifiant, mon amour...

    Tomasz Majewski, ”On "Iconophilia": Signifiant, mon amour...”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 4 (2013), https://www.pismowidok.org/pl/archiwum/2013/4-ruinacja/wokol-ikonofilii-signifiant-mon-amour

    Contribution in a discussion on the book Ikonofilia by Andrzej Leśniak (Warszawa 2013).

  5. On "Iconophilia". Polemical Cuts or the Horizon of Singularity

    Krzysztof Pijarski, ”On "Iconophilia". Polemical Cuts or the Horizon of Singularity”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 4 (2013), https://www.pismowidok.org/pl/archiwum/2013/4-ruinacja/wokol-ikonofilii-polemiczne-ciecia-lub-horyzont-pojedynczosci

    Contribution in a discussion on the book Ikonofilia by Andrzej Leśniak (Warszawa 2013).

  6. On "Iconophilia". How Can One Like Images?

    Łukasz Zaremba, ”On "Iconophilia". How Can One Like Images?”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 4 (2013), https://www.pismowidok.org/pl/archiwum/2013/4-ruinacja/wokol-ikonofilii-jak-mozna-lubic-obrazy

    Contribution in a discussion on the book Ikonofilia by Andrzej Leśniak (Warszawa 2013).

  7. On "Iconophilia". A Response

    Andrzej Leśniak, ”On "Iconophilia". A Response”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 4 (2013), https://www.pismowidok.org/pl/archiwum/2013/4-ruinacja/wokol-ikonofilii-odpowiedz

    An author's response to criticism of his book Iconophilia. French Pictural Semiology and the Images (2013).

Snapshots

  1. What Can One See from Above? The "Other City" and its Difficult Heritage

    Roma Sendyka, ”What Can One See from Above? The "Other City" and its Difficult”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 4 (2013), https://www.pismowidok.org/pl/archiwum/2013/4-ruinacja/co-widac-z-gory.-inne-miasto-i-jego-trudne-dziedzictwo

    Critical analysis of the exhibition "The Other City" by Elżbieta Janicka and Wojciech Wilczyk (Zachęta National Art Gallery, Warsaw, June 22 June - July 28 2013).

  2. A Traveler and the Museum

    ”A Traveler and the Museum”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 4 (2013), https://www.pismowidok.org/pl/archiwum/2013/4-ruinacja/podroznik-i-muzeum

    Hüseyin Bahri Alptekin and Orhan Pamuk, a visual artist exhibiting in the best art centers and a writer awarded with the Nobel Prize; what connects them is the focus on objects as carriers of meaning and the passion for collecting knick-knacks, even though the way in which each of the authors conceptualizes the collection is radically different. Alptekin was a vagabond carefully reading the non-obvious meanings of things he passed on his way and trying to remap the connections between places, objects and signs. Pamuk is a nostalgic homme de lettres focused on decoding memories inscribed in things – and he devoted the Museum of Innocence, a space based on his novel bearing the same name, to this passion. The text is an attempt to convey a parallel reading of the works of both authors – a traveler and a museum lover, an intelligent observer of everyday reality and an introvert explorer of memory.

  3. A Void in the Heart of the Country

    Ewa Borysiewicz, ”A Void in the Heart of the Country”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 4 (2013), https://www.pismowidok.org/pl/archiwum/2013/4-ruinacja/pustka-w-sercu-kraju

    Review of In the Heart of the Country. The Collection of the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw (May 14, 2013 – January 6, 2014).

  4. Science or Delirium? Two Aspects of Commercial Architecture

    Klara Czerniewska, ”Science or Delirium? Two Aspects of Commercial Architecture”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 4 (2013), https://www.pismowidok.org/pl/archiwum/2013/4-ruinacja/nauka-czy-delirium-dwa-oblicza-architektury-komercyjnej

    Review of Rem Koolhaas's Delirious New York (Karakter, Kraków 2013) and Roberto Venturi's, Denise Scott Brown's, and Steven Izenour's Learning from Las Vegas (Karakter, Kraków 2013).

  5. Cinema and Queer Studies

    Małgorzata Radkiewicz, ”Cinema and Queer Studies”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 4 (2013), https://www.pismowidok.org/pl/archiwum/2013/4-ruinacja/kino-w-perspektywie-queer

    An excerpt from the author's forthcoming book Oblicza kina queer [Aspects of Queer Studies, korporacja ha!art, March 2014].

  6. Do wglądu

    ”Do wglądu”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 4 (2013), https://www.pismowidok.org/pl/archiwum/2013/4-ruinacja/do-wgladu

    Propozycje lektur