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Dirk Michel-Schertges (Kopenhagen): Cultural Resistance and Contradictions of Emancipatory Art

Raum: HEL 166

Based on (historical) experiences of critical art as well as critique of the society of spectacle, the culture industry and the theory of half-Bildung the paper’s aim is to identify possibilities of resistance that are related to contemporary aspects of perception constituted by capitalism and processes of commodification in everyday life. The narrow focus on education to wage-labor and the (Western) musealization of culture neglects moments of education that are inevitable concerning processes of human formation and development. These anti-educational conditions give new meaning and importance to the dimension of aesthetic education and (political) art performance. Aesthetics used to be a fundamental part of the classical concept of education opposing the loss of the self in modernity; it was meant to be a counterpart to the threat of the fragmentation of human existence. As part of soft politics, aesthetic education is used within the framework of developing strategies in order to help to emancipate so-called non-developed countries and to learn from Western civilization by means of adopting emancipatory culture. This concept of cultural soft politics as a resource of emancipation will be presented and discussed by an example of projects carried out by the Danish development cooperation.