Title :

In search of cultural history : Anselm Kiefer and the ambivalence of modernism

Author :
RAMPLEY, Matthew ;
Publication year :
Language :
English ;
Abstract :
The work of Anselm Kiefer has often been regarded as problematic. Its fascination with Nazi history and German myth has been interpreted as reactionary political recidivism, and the coincidence of its rise to public prominence with a rightward shift in German politics only added to this suspicion. I argue that while Kiefer's work is problematic, it is because it raises uncomfortable questions about the relationship between German modernism and Nazism. Though Nazism is often seen as the antithesis of the former, I suggest that much of its ideological underpinning derived from the same sources as many modernist writers and artists. In particular, the discourse of romantic anti-capitalism, which inspired both right-wing modernists such as Stefan George or Ernest Jünger and the left-wing modernism of Expressionism, also informed the pastoral ideology of Nazism. A central part of Kiefer's work of the 1970s and early 1980s is an attempt to overcome the notion of representation as a mediated process, through his inclusion of 'literal' materials such as sand and straw. I argue that this aspect of Kiefer's work mirrors the discourse of authenticity prevalent in romantic anti-capitalism, most obviously, perhaps in the philosophy of Martin Heidegger. Hence Kiefer's work, juxtaposing motifs borrowed from the history of modernism with provocative historical references, indicates that the distance between modernism and Nazism is not as great as often assumed. ;
Pagination/Size :
6 ill. ;
Topic :
French keywords :
Allemagne ; Art ; Heidegger, Martin, 1889-1976 ; Kiefer, Anselm, n.1945 ; Mixed media ; Modernisme ; Néo-nazisme ; Peinture ; Philosophie ; 1900-2000 ;
Descriptors :
Art ; Germany ; Heidegger, Martin, 1889-1976 ; Kiefer, Anselm, b.1945 ; Mixed media ; Modernism ; Neo-Nazism ; Painting ; Philosophy ; 1900-2000 ;
Document type :
Article ;
Source :
Oxford art journal, 2000, 23, 1
INIST identifier :
24985486 ;
ISSN 0142-6540 ;
Provenance :
Bibliographie d'Histoire de l'Art ;
Publisher :
Setsquare, Oxford
Publisher country :