Blogpost: Columbia University Press

Posted by T • October 12, 2020

Posted by T • October 12, 2020

After the Red Army Faction: Gender, Culture, and Militancy

The impact the Red Army Faction (RAF) and the implications of its reign of terror have left a lasting imprint not only on Western Germany at the time but also on the development of Germany ever since. This impact does not exhaust itself within the realm of politics but also reaches far into the realms of philosophical thought and art.

After the Red Army Faction: Gender, Culture, and Militancy explores why specifically women were to prominent not only within the ranks of the RAF, but what can be derived from it to explain the prevalence of gender issues and violence in this day and age. Having read many books on the subject of the Rote Armee Fraktion, Charity Scribner’s angle offers refreshingly new insights and takes on what lay beneath the radical potential of the group, especially when it comes to post-militant aspects pertaining to sexual and gender politics.

Backed by analytical references to the emissions of philosophers of the Frankfurter Schule, and core texts of the main protagonists, Scribner goes on to investigate contemporary art forms, literature, cinema and mass media.

Having been a tad sceptical upon approach, the book manages to make clear connections in an objective manner between the tenets of the female dominated RAF, the interaction with the political and societal status quo of the 1970s and 1980s and how it connects to where we are now – long after it ceased to exist.

Nostalgia for the Future: Modernism and Heterogeneity in the Visual Arts of Nazi Germany

Anyone who has delved a bit into German history from 1933-1945 would know how far the regime’s propaganda machine reached into all facets of life to further its political agenda. Specifically in the world of the arts, modernism was demonized and portrayed to be actively contributing to the dilution of German art. Where it gets interesting is when one discovers inconsistencies in the regime’s trope and narrative.

Unwanted art was declared as “Entartete Kunst”, i.e. “degenerate art”, however, upon closer inspection it becomes apparent that even after the forceful purges of museums and advocacy for the ideals of Aryan perfection, author Maertz proves that within the upper echelons of the Nazi party, some sorts of modernist artists and their oeuvre were actively supported, which enabled their continuation until the collapse of the regime.

The aforementioned is not Gregory Maertz’s only angle, as he also carefully sheds light on the denazification and the way the new world coined the post-war world by the way they rehabilitated some artists and shunned others.

History of Art in Japan

Now, where does one even start?

Declaring that Japan’s history of art is not only rich but unrivalled in terms of eccentricity and decorum and idiosyncratic, would be an understatement par excellence.

In essence, History of Art in Japan is a masterful account not only in that art history Tsuji Nobuo not only chronicles historical facts, but expertly manages to highlight and shed light on the distinctive shades and nuance that have formed the DNA of the country’s cultural heritage, the influence of which continues to reverberate throughout the world.

Opulently illustrated, with his imaginative takes and accurate viewpoints, Nobuo draws connections from antic times to the ever-multiplying fascinating modern subcultures and how they are connected yet still characteristically different.

A fantastic encyclopaedic resource not merely for the dedicated Japan aficionado but anyone remotely interested in art history as the tome never fails to maintain an internationally relevant frame of reference.

T • October 12, 2020

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