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Repräsentationsweisen des Anthropozän in Literatur und Medien

Representations of the Anthropocene in Literature and Media


Edited By Gabriele Dürbeck and Jonas Nesselhauf

Das Anthropozän mit der Idee der systemischen Zusammenhänge von Mensch, Technologie und Umwelt ist durch Komplexität und disproportionale Skalierungseffekte von planetarischem und tiefenzeitlichem Ausmaß gekennzeichnet. Der Band geht der Frage nach, mit welchen Rhetoriken und Strategien Literatur und Kunst die Komplexität des Anthropozän auf menschliches Maß beziehen. Vor dem Hintergrund der Environmental Humanities untersuchen die 11 Beiträge das interdependente Beziehungsgeflecht von Mensch und agentieller ‹Natur› wie auch die Interaktion von unterschiedlichen zeitlichen, räumlichen und thematischen Skalen in Komposition, Figurendarstellung und Metaphorik (Raumschiff, Gaia, Weltgärtner) mit Bezug auf lokale Umweltprobleme und globale Zukunftsfragen. Mediale Austragsorte sind Erzählung, Epos, Climate und Science Fiction, Heimatroman, Ecodiegesis, Umweltlyrik, Hörspiel, Fotographie, Film und bildende Kunst.

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Catastrophic Histories, Planetary Futures:: Aesthetics for the Anthropocene in Alexander Kluge, Sebastião Salgado, and Anselm Kiefer


Alexis Radisoglou

Abstract: Engaging with representations of catastrophic histories and ‘planetary futures’ in the photography of Sebastião Salgado, in sculpture and painting by Anselm Kiefer, and the fictional work of Alexander Kluge, the article examines the formal heterogeneity and different political valences inherent in the notion of an emerging ‘aesthetics for the Anthropocene’.

It has been possible, in recent years, to witness a proliferation of artistic projects—in literature, film, and the visual arts at large—in which representations of a catastrophic history are coupled with intimations of what one may want to call a “planetary future.” Planetarity, it seems, has emerged as a possible way out from the exigencies of historicity. In my contribution to this volume, I want to pose the question to what extent this phenomenon can also be read as a response to the difficulty of the Anthropocene, and whether one could, indeed, go as far as positing the emergence of a veritable aesthetics for the Anthropocene in contemporary culture. I use the preposition “for” advisedly, thereby, because it seems to me to encompass both a mimetic and a potentially antagonistic dimension: to say for can mean of, but also against the Anthropocene. Adorno’s dictum, consequently, that the unresolved antagonisms of reality return in works of art as immanent problems of form is as pertinent to my question as is his notion of artistic form as sedimented content,1 the latter constituting a particularly felicitous phrase for an aesthetic investigation of...

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