Sichtbarmachung als politischer Akt
Fall Term 2020, BA/MA Art History, University of Basel

Lecturers: Katharina Brandl, Simon Vagts, Friederike Zenker

«I am a man of substance, of flesh and bone, fiber and liquids - and I might even be said to possess a mind. I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me.» (Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man, 1952)
In the AG, we want to deal with the tension between physical visibility and social invisibility that Ellison describes in his famous novel and that still shapes discourses today. In doing so, we will primarily pursue artistic methods that attempt to dissolve this tension through the act of pictorial visualization. The decisive question will be which agency the artists must have at their disposal and which historical constellations open up the space of possibility for this political act. In which contexts can the social invisible be made visible and by whom?

After intensive reading of relevant texts, which we will discuss together in the framework of the working group, we will pursue the question of which political strategies take place between visibility and invisibility and when an artistically or socially effective potential can be developed from this gap. The course is characterized above all by its connection to current research practice at the University of Basel: In the course of the AG, young researchers will present and discuss their work with regard to practices of making visible.