Memory and power : reflections on history, memory, and Auschwitz in contemporary art and film / by Orly Shevi.
This project aims to explore the connection between history, memory, political power, and visual art. It aims to contribute insight to how contemporary visual artists, like the filmmaker Jean Luc Godard, and the installation artist Christian Boltanski, confront politics through the reformation of collective memory. In their case the memory and history that they evoke are connected to Second War World and the Holocaust. In a very schematic way I will try to describe their role as a provider of a sight; a sight of the political struggle. I structured our investigation of Boltanski and Godard's works around three general questions on art, history and power. These questions provided a point of departure for my exploration, and helped with the formation of my arguments. At first, I tried to understand the presence of history in both Boltanski‘s and Godard‘s works. As I explained in this project, their motivations come from different reasons and events. Above all, as I have presented in this project, these artists use history in order to understand the conditions of the present moment. Therefore, I will argue that both Boltanski and Godard are historians of the present. Secondly, it was important for me to understand their specific use of the Holocaust and Auschwitz in their works. Here we notice how this event is perceived, as a reflection of social structures, and our understanding of the way power operates has grown accordingly. In this respect, Boltanski and Godard's works fall, both directly and indirectly, under the theoretical framework formulated by Michel Foucault, Adi Ophir, and Giorgio Agamben. The third question relates specifically to the art world and art practice, focusing on the attempt to expose how artistic methods and technique function as apparatuses of power. In other words, I wanted to understand and expose how power suffuses art through artistic practices. Here, I followed Godard's own investigation of cinematic montage, and Boltanski's challenges of archival practice. Therefore, it was through their paradigms that I was able to consider alternatives.
Record last modified: 2018-05-18 16:20:00
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