"Zur Frage der Zerstörung und Rekonstruktion"
Lecture by Horst Bredekamp
in conjunction with the exhibition Contemporary Ruins
Wednesday, 17 January, 2018, 6 pm, Maschinenhaus M0 (Power House), Free entrance
Lecture in German

Horst Bredekamp will subject the refusal to reconstruct destroyed cultural monuments to a fundamental criticism, beginning with the example of Palmyra. The central theme is “militant reconstruction” in its different varieties. The Humboldt Forum will be one of the examples to be discussed. The decision to rebuild the Berlin Palace was also intended as a negation of its demolition in 1950.
These ideas are broadly related to Bredekamp’s critique of Walter Benjamin’s theory of reproduction, which he first advanced in 1975 and frequently thereafter. Bredekamp believes that reproduction almost never destroys the aura of the original. Rather, it develops its own aura, which usually triggers almost unpredictable processes, as will be illustrated with selected examples.
Prof. Horst Bredekamp served as professor of art history at the University of Hamburg starting in 1982; since 1993 he has taught and researched at Humboldt University in Berlin. He is one of the founding directors of the future Humboldt Forum in Berlin. His best-known publications include Kunst als Medium sozialer Konflikte: Bilderkämpfe von der Spätantike bis zur Hussitenrevolution (1975), Antikensehnsucht und Maschinenglauben: Die Geschichte der Kunstkammer und die Zukunft der Kunstgeschichte (1992), Galileis denkende Hand (2015), Der Bildakt (2015) and the essay Das Beispiel Palmyra (2016).