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Crisis of Reality

A Lecture Series on Key Works of Art

Public Lecture Series at Zeppelin University

Organized by Prof. Dr. Karen van den Berg (Chair of Art Theory & Curating) and Prof. Dr. Jan Söffner (Chair of Cultural Theory & Analysis)

Crises of reality have often been proclaimed - by the avant-gardes of modernity, by the existentialists, by postmodernism and its radical constructivisms and deconstructions. Yet these were crises proclaimed by the respective movement itself, in most cases even desired: They were crises that testified more to the power and dominance of the realisms of their time. At present, however, the theoretical debates ranging from New Realism to Speculative Realism refer more to the desire to preserve the concept of reality as such. That this is necessary has to do with another crisis, this time not proclaimed but found.


In literature, film, theatre and the fine arts, it is therefore no coincidence that a new realism is currently emerging, a realism that differs from its predecessors in many respects. For since "post-truth" has been talked about and virtual realities have become part of everyday life, the question arises anew of how a concept of reality can be gained that is suitable as a social foundation and is not arbitrarily stretchable. This concern has taken on a new urgency at a time when politics is made with fake news.
Since the arts have always cultivated their own relationship to reality and have always conceived of the fictitious and the possible, they are particularly suited to making different concepts of reality observable. In the arts, not only is perception itself made tangible, but the relationship to reality is also explored in its own way. In doing so, a distance to the world becomes perceptible, breaks in reality become perceptible or, through hyper-realistic scenarios, immersive intensifications of the experience of reality are evoked.
With their different realisms, the arts used to maintain their own relationship to reality. They therefore seem particularly suited to making crises in reality observable, perceptible and describable.
Against this background, experts from the fields of art, music, film and literature presented key works by female artists, writers and filmmakers in the lecture series, which problematize the understanding of reality in their time.


1. Photo: Drawing by Dan Perjovschi | Karen van den Berg
2. Photo: Lecture Series by Dr. Su­san­ne Schmet­kamp | Karen van den Berg 


Events in Detail

  • 30. Ja­nu­ary 2018 : „Wir sind nie real ge­we­sen. Wirk­lich­keit, Gleich­nis und Pro­ceß“
    mit Prof. Dr. Jan Söff­ner

  • 6. Fe­bru­ary 2018 : „Si­mu­la­ti­ons­kri­sen. Zum Werk von Harun Fa­ro­cki“ mit Ina Ned­der­mey­er, Lei­te­rin der Ab­tei­lung Kunst im Zep­pe­lin Mu­se­um Fried­richs­ha­fen

  Zum Podcast


  • 13. Fe­bru­ary 2018 : „La­chend die Wahr­heit...? Das Wirk­lich­keits­ver­ständ­nis der Sa­ti­re“ mit Dr. Joa­chim Land­kam­mer, Lehr­stuhl für Kunst­theo­rie und In­sze­na­to­ri­sche Pra­xis an der ZU
    Zum Podcast


  • 20. Fe­bru­ary 2018: „Rea­li­tät in Serie“ mit Dr. Su­san­ne Schmet­kamp von der Uni­ver­si­tät Basel
    Zum Podcast


  • 27. Fe­bru­ary 2018: „Yngve Holen. Die Rea­li­tät des Be­geh­rens“ mit Dr. Phil­ipp Klein­mi­chel, Lehr­stuhl für Kunst­theo­rie und In­sze­na­to­ri­sche Pra­xis an der ZU

  • 6. March 2018: „Stim­mungs­räu­me. Welt­er­zeu­gung und Rea­li­täts­er­fah­rung in der Kunst“ mit Prof. Dr. Kers­tin Tho­mas von der Uni­ver­si­tät Stutt­gart
    Zum Podcast


  •  14. March 2018: „,…wie die Schran­ken, wel­che die Gauk­ler vor den Zu­schau­ern sich er­bau­en‘. Zu einer Rea­li­täts­re­fle­xi­on des Com­pu­ter­spiels“ mit Prof. Dr. Tho­mas Hen­sel von der Hoch­schu­le Pforz­heim
    Zum Podcast


  • 20. March 2018: „Wahr­neh­mun­gen in der Dun­kel­heit. Über Wolf­gang Hil­big“ mit Prof. Dr. Maren Leh­mann, Lehr­stuhl für So­zio­lo­gi­sche Theo­rie an der ZU
    Zum Podcast


  • 10. April 2018: „Die Mög­lichs­te aller schlech­ten Wel­ten. The Good Place, Mo­ral­phi­lo­so­phie und die Frage nach der Rea­li­tät“ mit Prof. Dr. Adri­an Daub von der Stan­ford Uni­ver­si­ty

  • 17. April 2018: „Ge­teil­te Wahr­heit. Fakt und Fik­ti­on in der Ar­beit von Ro­bert Smith­son“ mit Prof. Dr. Ste­phan Schmidt-Wul­ffen von der Uni­ver­si­tät Bozen
    Zum Podcast
  • 24. April 2018: „Rea­li­tät in der Re­nais­sance und die Re­nais­sance der Rea­li­tät“ mit Prof. Dr. Karen van den Berg, Lehr­stuhl für Kunst­theo­rie und In­sze­na­to­ri­sche Pra­xis an der ZU
Zum Podcast


  • 8. May 2018: „Die Idee des Rea­lis­mus“ mit Prof. Dr. Hel­mut Drax­ler von der Uni­ver­si­tät für An­ge­wand­te Kunst Wien
    Zum Podcast