Catalogue text for Wrapped

 

Ralf Christofori: Reality Bites.

The narrative as constructed reality

 

"I would have wished for a voice starting to speak behind me, matching everything I say before I say it, and saying this: "We have to go on speaking, we have to say words for as long as there are any to say; we have to say them until they find me, until they say me - a disturbing effort, a disturbing failure; we have to go on talking; perhaps it has already happened, perhaps they have already carried me to the threshold of my story, to the gate that is already opening on my story (it would astonish me if it opened)." 1)

Michel Foucault

Narratives

In the beginning was the word - so it is written. In the beginning was the word that pours out in narrative, the word that first made it possible to hand down ancient mythologies and the Bible stories, and the great scientific systems too; the word that formed the basis of fine literature and the foundations of historical writing. And in the end, so it would seem, is still the word - even if this has been increasingly called into doubt in recent decades. What possibilities remain open to a thinker like Michel Foucault, who, in the name of science, so unrestrainedly questions the word, sentences and arguments, discourses and stories, or histories? What alternatives are left to a man like Jean-Francois Lyotard, when he proclaims the end of the great narratives? What is the way out for someone like Jacques Derrida, who questions the word so fundamentally that he feels compelled to provide every statement with a footnote? One might assume that such scepticism about what can be said or narrated takes away the credibility of such speech or narrative. Though in fact narrative itself does not seem to be harmed by this at all. It clears a way for itself, it may even jettison its author - as Foucault secretly wished - it will withdraw to small narrative modes - in the spirit of Lyotard - or - as in the case of Derrida - it will continue to speak, with the most severe reservations. This is how narrative will continue to make an effect, and to be heard. The word"s condition of self-doubt, its inability to be spoken without reservations, is similarly a factor in the fine arts, though this was the case a long time before Foucault, Derrida and Lyotard. At the turn of the century, painting and sculpture started to address the way in which the world could be portrayed, going beyond any of the representation systems that had been handed down over the centuries. Art summoned up its very own creative energies, drawing on resources and conceptual devices that left the constraints of pure portrayal behind, while at the same time setting off for new shores and alternative representation systems. It exchanged portraying the world for a large number of different "ways of worldmaking" 2).

Realities

After this fresh start, creative concepts seem to have shaken off narrative elements to a large extent. At a first glance, it was narrative elements above all that fell victim to Modernism"s turn away "from imitating reality to inventing reality" 3). Art was driven on by the primacy of abstraction to find a new space in which it tried out the scope of new representation systems beyond the portrayal of realism or naturalism.

Even the earliest manifestations of Surrealism confront scepticism about depiction with an approach that at least comes very close to Michel Foucault's. Artists like Breton or Magritte do not articulate their stories and motifs in terms of original authorship, they abandon themselves entirely to the subconscious. The content conveyed does not actually originate from the author as a creator ex nihilo, but from a literally more profound understanding of what lies behind it. The random element of subconscious action is a key force behind the narrative, in Max Erns'"s décalquomanies and frottages, just as much as in Joan Miró's automatism. Foucault's longing for the voice behind him, for the words "that say him", seems to be acquiring a shape here.

Reservations about what could be said or portrayed were far more fundamental immediately after the Second World War. The impossibility of writing poetry after Auschwitz found its counterpart in fine art in abstraction and the Informel movement. But for Adorno these forms of negation do not have repressive features, but conversely: "the aesthetic ban on images releases the imagination from its audacious structures of narrative and the concrete, from the spell of myth" 4). However, the formulations of Pop Art campaigned against this form of Modernist iconoclasm, in that they did not just revitalize figuration but - much more profoundly - turned to stories that they draw from direct recourse to social realities. Pop Art's attack on Modernism was a struggle against the great narratives of recent art history, which was fought on a number of fronts: it replaced innovation with variation, finally it took stylistic pluralism too far and blurred the distinction between high and low. Art penetrated the reality of life, became part of it, and vice-versa. Pop Art narratives presented themselves against this background not just as substrates of art history and society, but as social formulations in their own right. Reality as a basis for narrative is one that is found in all branches of society, it is displayed offensively, in an undecided area between criticism and affirmation. Modernism's tendency away "from imitating reality to inventing reality" acquires a new direction with Pop Art. In recourse to the predominant representation systems of popular culture, the autonomous character of invented reality that has become an image is curtailed, but - as in the case of Nouveau Réalisme - the status of the invention of a new realism is positively underlined. The narrative modes of artists like Arman, Hains, Villeglé or Rotella are based on a New Realism that is slanted in this way, but it does not float somewhere in a vacuum, it shows clear links with existing social reality. In this case, words are deconstructed in something like Derrida"s spirit, and expressed only with reservations. Every utterance carries the "yes, but..." of social relevance within it. Every story is told within the framework of a pictorial reality that is placed somewhere between an existing and an invented reality.

Realisms

Now if we accept Goodman's view that every form of realism is relative, and in fact relative to the representation system on which it is based 5), then realism in 20th-century art differs only slightly. Goodman says that realism "is not a question of some constant or absolute relation between an image and its object, but a question of the relation between the representation system used in the image and the standard system" 6). Art constantly made this relation available in the course of the century.

Against this background, the transition that occurred at the turn of the century from imitating reality to inventing reality has to be reinterpreted: not as a mere progressing abstraction, but as a variation in the mode of representation systems that have to be accessed in new ways. And the transition "from the narration of reality to the invention of reality" 7), which Rolf Lauter expounds in terms of Jeff Wall"s work, is not really a surpassing step forward. It is simply another version of the construction of reality.

The realism argument in the form put forward by Goodman seems to promote a kind of realism that pulls the ground under all standards of evaluation. But this presupposition obliges us even more to address the slight difference in the layers underneath arising from the divergence of the representation systems and the construction resulting from this. If reality is understood as a construction, this applies not to the construction of a reality laid down in the work but just as much to the reality of the artist and the viewer.

The same applies to narrative in art. It is only under the mantle of realism that it contains spheres resulting on the one hand from the artist - work - viewer constellation, and on the other from the resulting constructions. One is inclined to introduce another variation that to an extent conceals the previous ones. Here we would have to rely on the notion of a higher view of the "reality of narrative". The representation systems striven for in a narrative do have a part to play in coding and decoding artistic manifestations, even though it may not be a crucial one. This applies not just to the art of the 90s, but to relative realism within the numerous tendencies in 20th-century art.

Knowledge of these structures brings us closer to understanding what is concealed under the mantle of realism - or strictly speaking of realisms, and it puts us in a position to specify these realities more precisely on the basis of these realisms. Admittedly this sounds simpler than it is. But of course neither the representation system nor the reality of narrative can be derived from a work deductively. They can be defined only approximately from knowledge about the narrative that is placed in the work itself, about the artist and his environment and the viewers and their expectations. It is only from these layers that the narrative transformed into language in each work can be investigated and understood. It is only from these layers that we can acquire a deeper understanding of what, as a construction, shapes the reality of the narrative in the work.

Constructions

Society and its formulations are not something given by nature, they are constituted and shaped by the people who live in it, and by the prevailing power-structures within it. A society develops according to the selection principle. Everything that is established as socially viable grows out of general demands that the individual has to accept. This applies not just to the ethical and moral spheres of living together, but also to the aesthetic codes from which conventions, fashions, ideals and longings grow in their turn. Coming to terms with the construction of society is certainly one of the most important things articulated within narrative in contemporary art. Stories are told that emerge from the social structure and are expressed in a whole range of artistic manifestations.

The extent to which the subject defines itself or is shaped by the social realities of the people surrounding it has been decided in favour of the latter at least since Jean-Paul Sartre. While, as is well known for Sartre, hell is the others 8), as it is they who actually first constitute our ego, Seyla Benhabib places the self in the context of the social community rather less radically. "The identity of the ego," says Benhabib, "is constituted in a story that provides context, which brings every thing that I can do, ever have done or will still produce, together with what other people expect of me, how they understand my actions and intentions, and the future that they wish for me." 9)

According to this, the ego is constituted not entirely, but to a significant extent, within the framework of society, in the past, the present and the future. Thus the narrative included the whole range of a biography from the beginning to the end. It has recourse to the above-mentioned time-track with all its developments and breaks and, just like the development of society, follows the principle of selecting the possibilities that are to be chosen. The motifs of a context-creating narrative of this kind can be placed in such different categories as history, now, dream, wish, longing etc. It is in this that the construction of the ego is articulated, definitely not in a vacuum, but always in combination with social reality.

On a higher plane, various tendencies in contemporary art are concerned with questions of representation. Here the question is not about representation itself, which has already been answered, but about constructing and legitimizing systems that even at the end of this century claim to be able to explain perception of the world representatively.

But developments have shown that representation systems have changed as they have in art in numerous other social function-systems as well. Everyday life is as much affected by this as scientific systems or art history. Patterns of action and presentation are adopted, adapted and then rejected again. An extensive pluralism, which distributes the heavy burden of legitimation over many pairs of shoulders, goes hand in hand with the differentiation of society. Modernistic reduction to universalist programmes and one-dimensional categories no longer seems to work out with for society"s various sub-sections. The great narrative as an all-powerful basis for legitimation no longer seems to exist. The subjective eye reveals the construction of representation even beyond apparently objective facts.

Narrative Realities

Maria Finn's work derives its presence from the fluent and yet not entirely unbroken transition from private spheres to public codings. The phenomenon of individual constitution within the social entanglement of conveyed codes plays a major role, and not just in her fashion magazine "Plum Velvet". The magazine is woven around propagated ideals of beauty and success, and constantly undermines the prescribed rules. At the same time, Finn produces her own stars, her own ideals by using protagonists recruited exclusively from her own personal environment. In "Swans and Aeroplanes" the artist develops a fragmented history from poetic images, and again it moves on the terrain of constructed ideals (of beauty). The longings, wishes and ideals contained in a condensed and powerful form in this little series of five photographs, are articulated from a very subjective perspective. They formulate themselves and thus resist the restrictive constructions of a reality that eats its way into personal constitution via the suggestive power of media images.

Kirstine Roepstorff approaches social restrictions and prejudices in a similar manner. Her work deals with taboos, and with attempts to break out of a so-called social community. The "Terror and Therapy" project reveals how very much this society works with the tools of inclusion and exclusion. Both these factors are concerned with individual attempts to break out of prescribed conventions. Terror originates in a reaction against social norms, but therapy tries to bring individuals who are supposed to have been derailed back into society. The fact that putting a stop to individual ideals inevitably goes hand in hand with suppressing the structure of personality, is part of restrictive politics. In this way, weighing up the merits of a personal construction of reality, or one that is supposed to be socially viable, becomes merely utilitarian, that is to say quantitative. The quality of a personal biography, of an individually designed life, is decided in favour of an assumed majority. Kirstine Roepstorff confronts the viewer very directly and authentically with individual stories, designs and dreams that are diametrically opposed to this majority.

Canadian artist Bruce LaBruce's films also deal with designs for life that are not considered socially viable. "Hustler White", for example, plays in the world of so-called hustlers on Santa Monica Boulevard in Los Angeles. The narrative line takes visitor Jürgen Anger through this "romantic comedy", which has reminiscences of past films like "Alice in Wonderland" and "Death in Venice" built into it. Bruce LaBruce, who has himself appeared in low-budget porn films, wrote this film himself, produced and directed it, as he did with many of his other films. He is not behind these films merely as a person, but as a protagonist of a social fringe group, whose apparent differentness he imbued with a certain normality via film as a medium. Something that was supposed to be kept quiet for the benefit of a noisy majority thus acquires new relevance.

The Bureau of Inverse Technology's work takes account in a similar way of supposed disruptive factors within a society concerned with harmony. The documentary character of the video "Suicide Box" deals sharply and abruptly with the perversion with which society develops technical devices and applies them so that its own facade can be kept intact, at least on the surface. The video records not only the empirical data of suicide attempts in one of the most exposed places on earth - the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco - but goes beyond that to attempt to master this phenomenon by using highly developed technologies. In a mix of archive images and lively trips with the Steadycam, the Institute of Inverse Technology reveals the whole tragedy of this place - as a tourist attraction and the location of thousands of suicide attempts, both at the same time. The video blurs this border by skilful cutting, constantly underlaid with empirical data and the crude logic of this machine with which attempts are made to avoid suicide as a symptom.

Christian Schmidt-Rasmussen also addresses social disorders, though less directly and with a much greater degree of unconcern. His main characters are exclusively animals and fantasy figures, like for example the happy tribe of "Stupydopies". His paintings" long subtitles function as interpretative frames for the scenery shown in the image. They seem just as absurd as the short playlets that the artist wrote down. The images themselves underline this character and additionally raise it to the status of being fantastic and absurd. And yet the stories are not without a degree of subliminal criticism. They come close to the moral appeal of the fable, but use the raised index finger a lot more subversively, in that they allude only covertly to contemporary social disorders. The tribe of "Stupydopies", who have constructed a society in a stupid and na´ve fashion, in which evil seems to be systematically excluded, are a paradigm of Schmidt-Rasmussen"s pictorial motifs.

Erlend Williamson was an artist who died young. He conducted a very rigorous analysis of representation patterns made available by society that accompany not just casual everyday life, but are also used deliberately to arouse emotion. His "Erl's Tours" project is based on a real staging of guided tours. The only relic of this project is a "Booking + Information Office" covered with numerous notices, at which the tours used to begin and end. They were designed by Erlend Williamson himself, following advertising industry codes, and they appeal to the wishes and longings of potential customers, even if the tour does not seem to satisfy the usual tourist requirements. Willamson oscillated deliberately between these two points of view. He willingly follows the conventions of wishing for things, and yet withdraws them at the same moment by not responding to conventional wishes at all.

Pierre Huyghe's impetus is very similar to Fiona Banner's, although he remains faithful to the medium of the moving image in his transformations. His videos deliberately circle around the correlation between understanding language and understanding images. The video "Dubbing", for example, sets off on the track of the narrative film and structures a new perspective within it, that of synchronized speech. Twelve actors react to projected images and subtitles. The original film is reduced to the accompanying subtitles, while the images concentrate exclusively on the group involved in the dubbing. The original image disappears, the viewer tries to reconstruct it. An imagined image that viewers draw from the textual information correlates with the real image that they see. What remains of the original representation-patterns of the film is taken over into a concertante performance of the same material. The story itself has literally to be read anew. By the actors as well as the viewers.

Artist Lucy Gunning, undecided between stigmatizations by society that shape the self and self-produced development of an ego, leaps from the established cliché to the neutral look, across to the subjective experience and then back again to the rigid role model. As she changes her roles the artist clings on to male and female symbols, but comments on them almost from the point of view of a third sex. The paradigm of the plain and simple neurosis - the mouse in the kitchen, in the woman's kingdom - is just as much the object of comprehensive behavioural research as football as an undisputed male domain, young women's horse mania, and what is now the almost classical singing lesson in a middle-class milieu. But in Lucy Gunning's case the self"s subjective inclinations are always predicated on failure as result of social conventions and clichés.

The stage in life at which the ego is most strongly influenced by a collective identity is adolescence. The search for identification of any kind here leads above all to the familiar manifestations of fan culture. Roderick Buchanan's photographs occupy this area. He addresses not only visible manifestations of the fan cult, but beyond this the interface at which individual identity seems to merge with collective identity. Emblems, devotional objects and clothing are not only merely an outfit, but important signs of belonging and identification.

Jakob Kolding derives the data for his narrative from the past, from the wishes and desires of a boy who grew up in a suburb of Copenhagen and who is interested only in football idols. These same motifs recur in taken-back drawings: the fans and players of "Brøndby", the social environment of the modernistic estate, attempts by local government to make this environment more tolerable by aesthetic interventions in the existing grey of the residential blocks. Kolding"s coloured pencil drawings are limited to a few constantly recurring parameters: the stereotyped nature of the protagonists in an equally standardized urban structure, the uniform character of yellow/blue - Brøndby"s strip colours - the displaced people in the housing estates and the completely detached quality of the "Our town should be more beautiful" campaigns. Personal memories of adolescence are reduced to fragments whose significance has very intimate traits beyond all apparent objectivity. Kolding's work is autobiographically motivated and yet does not get lost in formal idiosyncrasies. They draw their motifs from what has been, and yet there is no sign of the nostalgia that is all too often used to conjure up the past.

Kai Althoff's artistic output also feeds on young people's thoughts, ideas and desires. His figures, embedded in installations, videos or songs, often act with a genuine link to the 68 generation and its utopias. Althoff's pop arrangements are improvised towards an end. They extend from the revolutionary thinking of that period via squatting to a committed resistance to state power. His stories about "Hakelhug", Reinke Heetz or Mönke Nowak invoke the atmosphere and mood of those days - even for people who know little or nothing about them. This period and no less the myth related to it is brought up to date as an image for in the context of the 90s by Althoff's fictitious stories.

Annika Ström finds her themes in the here and now of her existence as an artist, but also in the doings of her everyday life. She reflects about her artist's ego in the video "The Artist Live", or the habits of the people who live in her adopted place of residence, Berlin. Ström always presents her stories from the point of view of the I-narrator. What changes is the perspective and the narrator"s identity. She - in other words the changing I - shapes the narrative. The view presented is either an internal one, or one that records and comments as an outsider. It is not just the self that is dependent on the other person"s point of view, but the others are also dependent on the identity from which I direct my gaze at you. Against this background the existential structure becomes a tautology or an open - and ultimately infinite - conflict of identities. Annika Ström"s narratives sustain this structure and draw viewers in so that they can assert themselves within it.

In contrast with this, the work left behind by Bas Jan Ader is much more existential. He finds his metaphors in plants, flowers and art. He is the silent hero of many of his own works, and the artistic creation is so strongly linked with his own person that it is unthinkable without him in many respects. Conversely, it seems impossible to think of Bas Jan Ader"s life without his artistic output: characteristically he lost his life in an artistically motivated attempt to cross the Atlantic in a small boat. But as a hero who intends less to serve an artistic myth than to transfigure that hero romantically. In Ader"s work the heroic quality of so many of his stories ends with an impact - an impact that reminiscent only of what has just been so brilliantly narrated.

Artist and film-maker Albert Mertz represents one of the most important artistic positions to have given a new form to narrative. He marks the beginning of the experimental Danish film. In his film "The Flight", which was produced in the forties, he goes back to a narrative mode that looks for an easy - in other words objectively comprehensible - approach to the images, but one that also develops subjective features. Mertz's film feeds on the source of a very direct field of vision, on the intensity of the images that emerge from this and on oscillating between the real and the fictitious. The viewer finds himself in all this without circumlocution, he is drawn into a narrative structure that he essentially has to assemble for himself, associatively. The murderer"s flight is shifted closer and effectively blurred by montages and extremely unusual camera angles.

Lilibeth Cuenca Rasmussen constructs her fiction on the basis of a narrator's role that she occupies herself. "Lilistories" is a picture-book with small episodes that the artist created with a PC drawing program. Lili tells stories with lively images, underlaid with hints of sounds. In her fragmentary short stories, singing and dancing fried chicken follow the brief narrative of "blue eyes" and the childish dream of flying. The episodes as a whole seem as though they have been dashed off in a hurry and have no perspective, like a child's drawing. Lilibeth Cuenca Rasmussen"s "Short Cuts" turn out to be sequences from of a childhood fantasy that does not seem to be very far back in the past. The artist slips into the role of Lili and calls upon the services of the carefree quality of child-like creative thought. This produces intuitive strands of plot in a framework that is apparently outside location and time.

Nikolaj Recke works in the present, and tries to analyse themes of 20th-century art history and realize them in the field of tension between real origin and wishful thinking. "Knowing You, Knowing Me" circles around an artist"s self-perception when analyzing the work of artistic progenitors like Yves Klein, Joseph Beuys and Robert Morris. But Recke"s handling of alleged models is not an act of idolatry, but more like a playful act of homage. Recke brings what has been up to date in his way, and transposes it into the future as a piece of wishful thinking, as yearning. In his most recent project he moves very allegorically in the same direction. Even in the title, the "forget-me-not" motif carries the aspect of a narrative that draws Seyla Benhabib"s context-creating story together into a single image. This image"s unlimited ability to connect gives both artist and viewers a chance to inscribe their own personal story within it.

Lars T. Mikkelsen's most recent work takes up the structure of predominant representation patterns and makes them available to us. Mikkelsen presents stuffed birds in dioramas in the style of zoological museums: in abstract surroundings, arranged very formalistically and schematically, and intended to concentrate viewers" attention on a single, crucial characteristic. Mikkelsen draws his information from zoological text-books, and transforms the largely one-dimensional characterization into three dimensions. The spotted woodpecker is reduced to its hammering activities when looking for food, the swift to its extraordinary flying speed. The commonplace of simple categorization finds its counterpart in a strictly formalist presentation, focusing on this characteristic.

Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset also address questions of representation in their multi-partite project "Powerless Structures" - and they are interested in social and everyday responses, as well as aesthetic ones. The work stands at the centre of the artistic analysis, within a structure made up of the presentational frame and the viewers. By doing this, Elmgreen and Dragset delve deeply into specific attitudes in terms of response, and place their deliberate interventions at that point. In "Figure 33" they are appealing to the current patterns of illusionism, which has affected many things other than art over the years. They disturb this attitude in terms of response aesthetics by penetrating into the grey area between reality and illusion, truth and deception. Viewers have to re-place themselves here, and rearrange their expectations.

Adam Chodzko uses viewers' responsive habits in a similar way, although he operates on a plane on which he draws potential viewers into his work. He instructs a lighting crew to light an area in a forest so that it looks as though it is in heaven. An image of workers discussing how heaven might be lit is projected on to a screen. On a screen opposite, the light that the crew has devised suddenly flashes into life, before slowly fading away again. Chodzko plays with viewers' expectations and fantasies on a double plane. And he challenges aesthetic awareness to make something real that exists only in the mind. The result is like a kind of fantastic realism that can appeal only to legends that have grown up about heaven.

The reality of narrative is conveyed doubly in Fiona Banner's work. Driven by the desire to condense individual sequences or even a whole film down to an individual image, she has been trying for some time now to record her individual perception of war films in particular, like "Top Gun", "Apocalypse Now" and "Platoon". She makes this media transformation highly potent in her extensive "Nam Project" by describing the numerous Vietnam films in a manuscript of over a thousand pages, practically without paragraphs. She describes an entirely personal screenplay, written from a subjective point of view. The film's pictorial information is transferred into a text that is presented as a monumental screenplay in terms of the abundance of impressions and seamless transitions between the individual films. The author seems to be "on stage" herself, and viewers are required to decode individual scenes and - to the extent that they are familiar with the particular film - to reconstruct the scenery and dramaturgy in their imaginations. Fiona Banner's "Wordscapes" make films that have conquered the world of the cinema as a mass-media spectacle into a subjective description, which is then put back into images by the viewers. The reality of film narrative is subjectively reproduced and manipulated in this double step.

Lars Bent Petersen's work draws on available representation structures within the way in which art is received. He has his eye on the phenomenon of largely nationalistic protection of a specific artistic tradition at the time of the Danish Golden Age. In France and elsewhere, Impressionism was all the rage, but the driving forces behind Danish art were entirely committed to national themes. This seems a very limited attitude, particularly at a time when there is an increasing amount of internationalization, in art and elsewhere. In fact Petersen is less interested in the historical phenomenon than in the way in which art is promoted generally. National protection of the Golden Age in Denmark is merely an example within the broader context of the history of the response to art and the writing of art history associated with this.

Thorbjørn Bechmann's paintings finally bring us back to the starting-point of the argument. His minimalist pictorial language is consciously placed within the minimalist tradition, and yet his work shows that the reality content of a creative concept by no means diminishes as the degree of abstraction increases. Here he is not just bringing the foundations of narrative up to date - they were laid in the early years of this century, as has already been mentioned - but is also creating a reality for narrative that finds its way into the present via the minimalism of the 70s and 80s. Here Beckmann is choosing a representation system that today more than ever can be understood only in connection within artist - work - viewer constellation.

The reality of narrative, in the work of all the above artists, is based on a representation system that is specific in each case, and which for its part produces the structure of the particular realities. In the first-mentioned categories it is a matter of the construction of society and the ego in society, the latter category includes the phenomenon of representation itself. Here the categories do not follow a strict practice of exclusive division. As has already been indicated, ego and society are very close together, while strictly speaking the phenomenon of representation is itself a product of social development.

The works of the above artists show how different and complex the reality of narrative is in the late 20th century. It is hidden under a smouldering realism that uses different representation systems. The differentiation of society has led not only to a pluralization of artistic positions, but also to a multiplication of the representation systems called into service within them. In the course of this development, seems that narrative in art had only just begun by the end of realism around the turn of the century. And it will continue to carve out its own paths in the future.

 

Ralf Christofori, born 1967, lives and works in Stuttgart as a freelance writer and as a curator at the Württembergischer Kunstverein Stuttgart.

 

1. Michel Foucault, Die Ordnung des Diskurses. Frankfurt am Main 1991, p.9.

2. This is the title of a major work by Nelson Goodmann.

3. Werner Hoffmann, Op.sit. Rolf Lauter. Auf dem Weg zu einer ganzheitlichen Gesellschaftsästhetik in der Gegenwart. In: Tonio Hölscher/Rolf Lauter (ed.), Formen der Kunst, Formen des Lebens - Ästhetische Betrachtungen als Dialog. Stuttgart-Ostfildern 1995, p.51.

4. Hauke Brunkhorst, Die ństhetische Konstruktion der Moderne. In: Leviathan 1/88, p. 85.

5. Cf. Nelson Goodman, Sprachen der Kunst. Frankfurt am Main 1997, p. 45.

6. Ibid., p. 46.

7. Rolf Lauter, Auf dem Weg zu ganzheitlichen Gesellschaftsästhetik in der Gegenwart. In: Tonio Hölscher/Rolf Lauter (ed.), Formen der Kunst, Formen des Lebens - ─sthetische Betrachtungen als Dialog. Stuttgart-Ostfildern 1995, p.70.

8. Cf. Jean-Paul Sartre, Geschlossene Gesellschaft. Reinbek 1986.

9. Seyla Benhabib, Selbst im Kontext, Frankfurt am Main 1995, p.13.