• Course 1: In the Museum of History
Course leader: Boris Buden
17 – 20 July, 2017
Maximum number of participants: 10

"In the post-historical period there will be neither art nor philosophy, just the perpetual caretaking of the museum of human history, ” wrote a quarter century ago Francis Fukuyama. He seems to have been right. Our epoch is generally obsessed with the past. Pierre Nora calls it even „the age of commemoration“? But where does this obsession with the past come from? Why has it taken cultural form? And why has it become such a hot issue in the life of today’s individuals and collectives as well as in the praxis of contemporary art? The growing interest in the past that emerges in the second half of the 20th century coincides remarkably with the major historical transformations that have shaped our world in the last four decades: the exhaustion of the utopian energies of the industrial modernity as well as the historical demise of the idea of revolution; the rising importance of culture in the post-Fordist modes of production and, not least, the emergence of all sorts of identity politics.

The course will discuss major concepts of the new memorialsm like cultural heritage or collective memory and focus especially on artistic practices dealing with this phenomenon.

Boris Buden is a writer and cultural critic based in Berlin. He received his PhD in cultural theory from Humboldt University in Berlin. In the 1990s he was editor of the magazine Arkzin in Zagreb. His essays and articles cover the topics of philosophy, politics, cultural and art criticism. He has participated in various conferences and art projects in Western and Eastern Europe, Asia and USA, including Documenta XI. Among his recent books is Zone des Übergangs: Vom Ende des Postkommunismus (Zone of Transition: On the End of Post-communism), Suhrkamp 2009. Buden currently teaches cultural theory at the Faculty of Art and Design, Bauhaus-University Weimar. He lives and works in Berlin.