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Published on Jul 3, 2014
How does a culture publicly recognize negative events in its own history, and take responsibility for them? In attempting to commemorate the Holocaust, artists created a new public art, now called 'Countermonuments.' Generally, these site-specific artworks are interactive with the public. They become focal points, presenting tragic events in history through honoring the victim rather than celebrating the victor. Rather than the readily identifiable heroic visual language of monuments towering over the viewer, the Countermonument displaces the viewer, creating unfamiliarity and questioning. But does familiarization with the aesthetics of the Countermonument alter responses? Is the Countermonument a radical break with traditional aesthetics? This panel examined this international art form and discussed its presence in the public landscape, its underlying philosophical meaning and its contribution to an ethics of memory.
Panelists: Lenore Metrick-Chen, Associate Professor of Art and Design, Drake University Miriam Paeslack, Assistant Professor and Director of Graduate Studies Arts Management Program at University at Buffalo, SUNY Anna Schrade, Assistant Professor of Cultural Studies at Hampshire College Christian Hammes, Senior Lecturer, Freie Universität Berlin
This session was presented at the Monument / Anti-Monument Conference.