Twilight Memories: Marking Time in a Culture of Amnesia - download pdf or read online


By Andreas Huyssen

During this new number of essays on reminiscence and amnesia within the postmodern global, cultural critic Andreas Huyssen considers how nationalism, literature, paintings, politics, and the media are enthusiastic about the prior. the good paradox of our fin-de-siecle tradition is that novelty is much more linked to reminiscence than with destiny expectation. Drawing seriously at the dilemmas of up to date Germany, Huyssen's dialogue of cultural reminiscence illustrates the character of up to date nationalism, the paintings of such artists and thinkers as Anselm Kiefer, Alexander Kluge, and Jean Baudrillard, and so on. The ebook comprises illustrations from modern Germany.

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It is a great irony that Walter Benjamin's often cited demand to brush history against the grain and to wrest tradition away from conformism has been heeded at a time when the museum itself bought into the capitalist culture of spectacle. There are yet other ways in which the new intimacy between culture and politics can open up avenues for alternative museum practices. Think of the old quality argument, often advanced by traditionalist critics in order to marginalize the art and culture of minority groups or peripheral territories.

Given the current demographic shifts in the United States and the migrations worldwide, this process is likely to intensify in the coming years. Some within the fortress of modernity will experience these changes as a threat, as dangerous and identity-eroding invasions. Others will welcome them as small but important steps toward a more genuinely heteronational culture, one that no longer feels the need to homogenize and is learning how to live pragmatically with real difference. We are far from that.

The lure of Polemics Of course, the recent museummania and exhibition craze has its downside, and it is tempting to polemicize. Take acceleration: the speed with which the work of art moves from studio to collector, to dealer to museum to retrospective, and not always in this order, has been dramatically increased. As in all acceleration processes of this kind, some of the stages have been tendentially victimized by this vertiginous speed. Thus the distance between collector and dealer seems to move toward a vanishing point, and given the increasingly poor performance of museums at Sotheby's or Christie's, some would cynically argue that the museum is left in the cold while art itself is moving toward the vanishing point: the work disappearing into a bank deposit and emerging into visibility only when it is put back on the auction block.

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Twilight Memories: Marking Time in a Culture of Amnesia by Andreas Huyssen

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