Still from "The Seizure of the Iuventa". A boat in the sea. Various people stand on the boat wearing life jackets. At the bottom left of the image a date: 18 June 2017. At the bottom of the image a timeline with the marker 06:20:05.

Politics of Appearing

According to Hannah Arendt, we can come into political existence only by coming forward, by appearing and thus marking a beginning. What constitutes the sphere of the political, however, is not only that which appears, but also that which disappears, that which is excluded or externalized. Understanding contemporary society as a “society of externalization” means to accept the fact that not only our standard of living (Lessenich), but also the structure of the political space of appearance itself depends on processes of externalization. Against this background, the project turns towards performative and artistic practices that reveal the conditions of the possibility of coming into appearance. Such practices critically reflect the relationship between appearing and disappearing, between being marked and being unmarked, between exposition and externalization. Scenes of appearance as analyzed by the project include courtroom scenes and reconstructions such as those by Forensic Architecture, as well as transitory theater traditions, from the early modern Commedia Dell’Arte to the post-migrant theater of the present. By looking at the temporary communities established in such transitory scenes, the project aims to develop a different politics of appearing, a politics which disrupts contemporary techniques of externalization.

Fig. above: Still from “The Seizure of the Iuventa” (2018), courtesy of Forensic Architecture.

since 2021
Head researcher(s): Katrin Trüstedt


Katrin Trüstedt


23 Sep 2023 · 9.00 am

Katrin Trüstedt: Representing Gaia? Towards a Politics of Appearing

Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main, Normative Orders Building, Max-Horkheimer-Str. 2, 60323 Frankfurt am Main

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02 Sep 2023 · 10.00 am

Katrin Trüstedt: Politics of Appearing: Pulcinella & Ophelia Are Dead

Garrick’s Temple to Shakespeare, Hampton Court Road, Hampton TW12 2EJ

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06 Apr 2022 · 4.30 pm

Katrin Trüstedt: Representing Gaia

University of Kent, Darwin College, Darwin Conference Suite, Canterbury CT2 7NY, UK / online

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13 Nov 2021 · 2.00 pm

Katrin Trüstedt: Politik des Erscheinens: Hamlets Maschinen und Ophelias Auftritte

Marie-Seebach-Stiftung, Tiefurter Allee 8, 99425 Weimar

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