This article deals with the cultural-historical change of public self-presentation and construction of identity at the end of the 19th century with the examples of William F. Cody (“Buffalo Bill”) and Karl May. The impact of the various public, both real and virtual, stages, the change of selfrepresentation as response to public reaction, and the interaction of public and private self-perception will be examined in particular with regard to the question how authenticity and illusion are negotiated individually and socially (within the media and publicly). The importance of physical presentation (as a sign of authenticity) and the increasing necessity to claim and proof (and thus to simulate) “reality” are particular objects of study. Both sample cases, within the specific cultural-historical context of their time, demonstrate change and diversification of public self-presentations which already display in their increasing virtuosity and plurality important aspects of modern mass mediality.
This article explores how close one can come to a cultural-scientific perspective on the basis of a constitution-analytical methodology. We do this on the basis of a comparison of the celebration of Totensonntag in Zotzenbach (Southern Hesse) and Sarepta (Wolgograd). In both places, there are protestant churches that perform this ritual to commemorate the dead on this “Sunday of the Dead” as a part of their church service. Our scientific interest lies in the reconstruction of the rituality produced during the in situ execution. In both services, the names of the deceased are read out and a candle is lit for each deceased person. In Zotzenbach the priest reads out the names and an assistant ignites the candles for the deceased, whereas in Sarepta the bereaved are responsible for this. Since the ritual is organised in very different ways in terms of architecture-for-interaction (statically in Zotzenbach, spatially dynamic in Sarepta), we can reconstruct two completely different models of rituality: a demonstrative one (Zotzenbach) and a participative one (Sarepta). The demonstrative model works on the basis of a finely tuned coordination between the two church representatives and is aimed at a dignified execution. The model in Sarepta is not suitable for the production of formality due to its participatory structure. Here, however, the focus is also on the aspect of socialization, which goes beyond the church service and offers the Russian-German worshipers the opportunity to situationally constitute as a culturally homogeneous group.
Dagmar Ellerbrock, Lars Koch, Sabine Müller-Mall, Marina Münkler, Joachim Scharloth, Dominik Schrage and Gerd Schwerhoff
This article aims to introduce the concept of „Invecticity“ as a new perspective for social and cultural studies. It understands phenomena of insult and debasement, of humiliation and exposure as - cross-cultural and epoch-spanning - basic operations of societal communication. Due to their disruptive, stabilising or dynamising effects on social order, invective communication have the potential to unite and shape societies. This article subsumes such phenomena under the term Invectivity. The term includes all aspects of communication (either verbal or non-verbal, oral or written, gestural or graphic) that are used to degrade, to hurt or to marginalize others. Manifestations and functions of the Invective are not systemised under strict patterns but medially, politically, socially and aesthetically contextualized depending on the diverse historical contexts and complex constellations they occur in. Thus, they can only be properly understood as performative events which develop through the interaction of ascription, response and follow-up communication as well as by means of the social, discursive and media conditions in which they arise.
With the guiding principle „Learning from Athens“ the 14th edition of documenta took place in 2017 both in the Greek metropolis of Athens and the German city of Kassel. As such, documenta 14 did not appear as a touring exhibition but as two single and at the same time correlated exhibitions in two different countries located in the middle of Europe and on its outskirts. With this curatorial approach, Artistic Director Adam Szymczyk goes counter the basic parameters of the well-established Western exhibition institution, which was founded in 1955 and, since then, is implemented as a periodical exhibition with a one hundred-day duration at its venue in Kassel. Taking a transcultural perspective, this article considers how the curatorial concept of documenta 14 challenges not only the institutional history, structure and status of documenta but also how it resumes and transforms its initial understanding of an ethics of cultural connectivity in times of crisis and traumatic historical ruptures for today. Moreover, it critically scrutinizes, how far the curatorially initiated „terms of invitation“ and „forms of collaboration“ for the exhibition between Kassel and Athens can be acknowledged as a shared cultural practice.