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Document Type

Open Access

Degree Program

History

Degree Type

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Year Degree Awarded

2012

Month Degree Awarded

May

Keywords

Memory, Latin-America, aesthetics, countermonument, Horst Hoheisel

Abstract

This paper examines the work of German artist Horst Hoheisel in Latin-America. I open the conversation by including Hoheisel’s provocative participation in the 2005 memory debates in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Here, I introduce the nature of Hoheisel’s reasoning and the dialectical self-reflectiveness that is at work in his artifacts. In each project, I look for the way in which Hoheisel lays down the “memorialistic substance” of a specific site together with the self-critical rationality that characterizes his creation. The second part of this essay attempts to construct the theoretical parameters for the expansion of the definition of the countermonument. This expanded definition attempts to unlock the countermonument and the memorial from the therapeutic mechanics of repetition -at the level of the subject- and release its possibilities vis-à-vis the potentiality of the event of language. Using the insights of Alain Badiou and Giorgio Agamben, I discuss the work of two contemporary artists (Jochen Gerz and Krzysztof Wodiczko) who experiment with the use of space and language as a way to invent a new type of countermonument, one that is based on the notion of an active memory rather than a cathartic one.

First Advisor

James E Young

Second Advisor

Joel Wolfe

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