In advance of the broken image: Gerhard Richter and Gustav Metzger’s confrontations with Nazi criminality
AffiliationUniversity of Derby
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AbstractThis chapter focuses on Gerhard Richter’s Uncle Rudi (1965) and Mr Heyde (1965) and Gustav Metzger’s Historic Photographs series (1995–1998) in order to present a new interpretation of how these artists perform the photograph in order to provoke cultural rather than legal confrontations with Nazi criminality. Rejecting Holocaust representational pieties in favour of the reinterpretation of the Duchampian ‘Readymade’ in the case of Richter, and Dada’s anti-aesthetics of destruction and revulsion in Metzger’s, this chapter will argue that Richter’s oblique pose of the ‘anti-ideological artist’ and Metzger’s more overt performance of the ‘subversive social activist’ are part of important social and cultural processes of confronting Nazi criminality. These types of cultural reckonings were recognized as important in David Cesarani’s edited collection, After Eichmann: Collective Memory and the Holocaust after 1961 (2005).
CitationAllwork, L. (2019). 'In advance of the broken image: Gerhard Richter and Gustav Metzger’s confrontations with Nazi criminality'. In Allwork, L. and Pistol, R. (Eds.). 'The Jews, the Holocaust, and the public: the legacies of David Cesarani'. London: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 239-267.