Images of Remembering and Forgetting
Human memory is self-reflexive, meaning it is capable of observing itself at work and analyzing these processes. In this context, art has a unique role to play as a particular form of monitor and mirror. In this case, art develops an important meta-discourse for the dynamics of remembering and forgetting.
Aleida Assmann is one of the leading scholars in the area of cultural memory. In her talk, she examines the spatial and temporal images of remembering and forgetting. In their response contributions, Sharon Macdonald, Director of the Centre for Anthropological Research on Museums and Heritage, and Cristina Baldacci, art historian at the Università Ca’ Foscari Venice and former fellow at ICI Berlin, explore the relationship of art to contested memory and the archive as artistic strategy.
With Aleida Assmann (literary scholar and professor of British literature and literary studies, University of Konstanz), Cristina Baldacci (art historian, Università Ca' Foscari Venice, ICI Berlin), Sharon Macdonald (social anthropologist, museologist, director of CARMAH)
Aleida Assmann is an anglicist, egyptologist, and cultural theorist, and retired Professor for English Literature and Literary Studies at the University of Konstanz. The focus of her research is cultural and communicative memory. Together with Jan Assmann, she was awarded the 2018 Peace Prize of the German Book Trade in 2018. Her recent publications in English include Cultural Memory and Western Civilization: Functions, Media, Archives (2011), Shadows of Trauma: Memory and the Politics of Postwar Identity (2015) and Is Time Out of Joint? On the Rise and Fall of the Modern Time Regime (2020).
Cristina Baldacci is an art historian specialised in contemporary art and visual studies. She is a Senior Researcher at the Universita Ca’ Foscari in Venice. From 2018 to 2020, she was affiliated to the ICI Berlin, where she was a fellow from 2016 to 2018. Her research interests focus on the archive and atlas as artistic gestures and visual forms of knowledge.
Sharon Macdonald is the Alexander von Humboldt Professor of Social Anthropology at the Institute of European Ethnology, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, and the Director of the Centre for Anthropological Research on Museums and Heritage (CARMAH) and the research programme “Making Differences in Berlin: Transforming Museums and Cultural Heritage in the 21st Century”.