Politics of Simplicity

A Lecture Series on Artistic Forms of Reductionism

Public Lecture Series at Zeppelin University

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

When populists gain ground in the field of politics, it seems necessary to come to a new understanding on strategies of simplification. The main reason for this is that the problem here is not just simplification, but the way in which simplification is carried out. In the lecture series on the theme of the year it is therefore important to shed light on various artistic concepts that are almost captivating in their simplicity and yet anything but trivial.

One of the key questions in art and literature is what distinguishes the simple elegance of a composition from a trivial structure. What is the difference between narrow-lipped prudery and reductionist sensuality? What separates falsifying simplification from the witty condensate of the complex? What distinguishes artistic from scientific complexity reduction - and both from simplicism?

In the public lecture series "Politics of Simplicity" at ZU, twelve renowned experts from the fields of art and literature, music, theatre and dance, design and film present works that reach simplicity in a variety of ways and with different specifications.

Events in Detail

  • 7. Fe­bru­ary: Pro­fes­sor Dr. Jan Söff­ner (ZU) über „Sermo hu­mi­lis – Das Ein­fa­che und das Wahre“

  • 14. Fe­bru­ary: Pro­fes­sor Dr. Chris­toph Jamme (Leu­pha­na Uni­ver­si­tät Lü­ne­burg) über „Phä­no­me­no­lo­gie des Un­schein­ba­ren“

  • 21. Fe­bru­ary: Pro­fes­sor Dr. Olaf Pe­ters (Mar­tin-Lu­ther-Uni­ver­si­tät Hal­le-Wit­ten­berg) über „Ein­fach­heit und Klar­heit – Äs­the­tik und Kunst­po­li­tik im Na­tio­nal­so­zia­lis­mus“

  • 28. Fe­bru­ary: Pro­fes­so­rin Dr. Maren Leh­mann (ZU) über „Or­na­ment und Ver­bre­chen“

  • 7. March: Dr. Thors­ten Phil­ipp (ZU) über „Sem­pli­cità – Neo­rea­lis­mus und Poe­tik des All­tags im Ita­li­en der Nach­kriegs­pha­se“

  • 14. March: Mi­cha­el Lentz (Schrift­stel­ler, Ber­lin) über „In­si­de/Outs­ide – Über die Un­ver­ständ­lich­keit des Ein­fa­chen bei Eugen Gom­rin­ger, Mi­cha­el Lentz und Ror Wolf“

  • 21. March: Pro­fes­sor Dr. Oli­ver Fahle (Ruhr-Uni­ver­si­tät Bo­chum) über „Zur fil­mi­schen Äs­the­tik des Null­punkts“

  • 28. March: Dr. Klaus Birn­stiel (Uni­ver­si­tät Basel) über „Samp­le/copy/paste – Li­te­ra­ri­sche Prak­ti­ken der Ein­fach­heit zwi­schen Buch- und On­line­kul­tur“

  • 4. April: Pro­fes­sor Dr. Phi­lip Ur­sprung (Eid­ge­nös­si­sche Tech­ni­sche Hoch­schu­le Zü­rich) über „Poe­tik des Ein­fa­chen – Peter Zum­t­hors Bru­der Klaus Ka­pel­le“

  • 25. April: Dr. Joa­chim Land­kam­mer (ZU) über „Drei­klang, Glöck­chen, Tran­szen­denz – Arvo Pärt zwi­schen Neuer Ein­fach­heit und Well­ness­raum-Mu­sik“

  • 2. May: Pro­fes­so­rin Dr. Ve­re­na Krie­ger (Fried­rich-Schil­ler-Uni­ver­si­tät Jena) über „Ein­fach­heit der Form – Kom­ple­xi­tät der Er­in­ne­rung. Dani Ka­ra­vans Ge­denk­ort für Wal­ter Ben­ja­min in Port­bou“
Time to decide

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