Hannes Wesselkämper: Spektakel der Oberfläche – Revision eines Konzepts als Modus der Medienästhetik des Films

This project seeks to resolve the often imprecisely used notion of spectacle by outlining its cultural history as well as reflecting on its specific media aesthetics in order to determine a specific mode of cinematic spectacle (among many others).

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The project at hand opposes a generalized conceptualization of spectacle by re-contextualizing it and unfolding it as a film-aesthetic mode using the example of the surface. The basis for this is the poiesis of film viewing, which is understood as an act of making sense with audiovisual images: In an act of appropriation, cinematic images become the medium for the production of a shared world. The spectacle as an aesthetic mode is an important part of this appropriation. It describes dynamic, permanently changing relations of looking and being-looked-at, which are made describable, for example, by focusing on cinematic surfaces.

Three case studies illustrate the importance of cinematic surfaces for this concept: these refer - this is another cornerstone of the research at Cinepoetics - not to representable facts, but to mediatic conditions of human perception, understanding, judgment and imagining. In the films THE CITY BELOW (Christoph Hochhäusler, DE 2010), PINK NARCISSUS (James Bidgood, US 1971) and A MAN THERE WAS (Victor Sjöström, SE 1917) surfaces will be analyzed according to these criteria with regard to their film-aesthetic production. In particular, I will draw on the discussions and workshops at Cinepoetics on the concept of the political, the affect, and the research focus on cinematic image and historical experience.

  • Project lead: Hannes Wesselkämper
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  • CV: Studied Literature, Art History, and Media Studies as well as British-and-American-Studies at the Universität Konstanz and the Filmuniversität Babelsberg KONRAD WOLF. Worked as a freelance journalist for radio and online media. Since late 2015, he is employed as a researcher at “Cinepoetics – Center for Advanced Film Studies.” Also works as a curator, film critic, and moderator.
  • PhD Advisors: 
  • Scientific PhD in the discipline:  Media Studies