Panel discussion
13 Apr 2023 · 6.00 pm

Medien des Humors bei Walter Benjamin

Venue: Leibniz-Zentrum für Literatur- und Kulturforschung, Schützenstr. 18, 10117 Berlin, Aufgang B, 3. Et., Trajekteraum
Organized by Kevin Drews (Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg), Szilvia Gellai (University of Vienna)

The panel discussion explores Benjamin’s “media of humor” in a dialogue with current artistic positions. Together with visual artist Patrizia Bach and media artist Philippe Mainz, Szilvia Gellai and Kevin Drews discuss aesthetic approaches to Benjamin. Together, they explore the actuality of humor in and with Benjamin. The event will start off the two-day long workshop Chancen des Gelächters. Ästhetik und Politik des Humors bei Walter Benjamin.

  • In her artistic work, Patrizia Bach (Berlin/Istanbul) has explored the Arcades Project both in drawings and through visual research. Next to a series of more than 150 drawings, this brought forth a digital presentation and an award-winning book in two volumes titled Passagen-Arbeit. Zeichnungen zu Walter Benjamin & “Paris Stadtplan.” Zu Walter Benjamins Passagenwerk (Working with the Arcades. Drawings on Walter Benjamin and “Paris Stadtplan.” On Walter Benjamin’s Arcades Project) (Berlin, Revolver-Publishing). Since 2015, the artist explores the city of Istanbul and its periphery, aiming to establish and simultaneously question an artistic practice of alternative historiography.
  • Philippe Mainz (Mannheim) received his degree in media studies from the Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design in 2021. He works as a sound and video artist for theater productions and develops free installation projects. Characteristic elements of his work include the use of poetical images, sounds, and distorted language. It aims to reveal the vulnerability inherent in language and develop new perspectives. Starting from Benjamin’s final, never broadcasted radio play Lichtenberg. Ein Querschnitt (Lichtenberg. A Profile) (1932–1933), Philippe Mainz created the audio play Lichtenberg. Konstellationen (Lichtenberg. Constellations) (Production: SWR/Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design/ZKM 2018, broadcasted through: SWR2, 2022).
  • Szilvia Gellai (University of Vienna) and Kevin Drews (Martin Luther Universit Halle-Wittenberg) moderate the discussion and organize the workshop Chancen des Gelächters funded by the Walter Benjamin Prize for Young Researchers.