Márcio Seligmann-Silva

Panel 3B Politics of Transcodification
Session 3 – July 2, 11:00 – 13:00

 The New Art of Memory in the Digital Age: The Cases of Harun Farocki and Aline Motta

The presentation will start with the work from Harun Farocki (1944-2014) and his theses that we live inside a world marked by a war of images. The artist is a combatant in this field. In his first work “Nicht löschbares Feuer” (1968) he asks if art would be a kind of self-burning of the artist, a performance made to wake us up. In his works he makes an appropriation of images of wars in a completely opposed sense as it happens in the media that wants to choc or normalize violence. By making new constructions and applying those images thought Brechtian strategies he transforms then into a theater of memory with strong political effect. Aline Motta is a Brazilian artist who deals with the history of her family since the 19th. century, what means since her great-grandmother, who was a slave. She tries to connect with this past that is normally blocked to reminiscence in a patriarchal and still very colonial society, that still today did not deal with the necessity of reparations concerning the 4 centuries of slavery. In 1888 Brazil was the last country in the world to banish slavery. Using several techniques of montage and simultaneous projection, her work represents a new and very power trend in the memorial political art in Brazil. The great challenge to those artists of memory, as Farocki and Motta, is the fact that we live in a society that tends more towards oblivion: so far the river of internet has proved to be closer to be a river of the oblivion than to be a river of memory. Neoliberalism coops with this. We dived into an apparently eternal present without temporal density. How to restitute this historicity based on art?


Márcio Seligmann-Silva holds a Ph.D. from the Free University of Berlin, was a visiting scholar at Yale and at the Zentrum Für Literaturforschung (Berlin). Since 2000 he is full professor of Literary Theory at Unicamp, Brazil. His publications include several books and essays in Journals in Latin America, USA and Europe about issues like Walter Benjamin, Vilém Flusser, trauma-, media- and translation-studies and about violence representation with focus on the Shoah, Latin American Dictatorships and contemporary Latin-America art.From2013until 2019hewasmember of the EC from ICLA(International Comparative Literature Association).Since August 2019 he is vice-president of ICLA.