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