Schneider, Rebecca – Appearing to Others as Others Appear

Vortrag von Rebecca Schneider

In The Human Condition, Hannah Arendt writes that the polis is “the space of appearance in the widest sense of the word, namely, the space where I appear to others as others appear to me, where men exist not merely like other living or inanimate things, but make their appearance explicitly.” In a time when white liberal humanism has been exposed by scholars like Sylvia Wynter, Hortense Spillers, Frank Wilderson, and Saidiya Hartman as a “genre of human” founded on anti-blackness, what becomes of the mandate to “appear to others as others appear”?  In this talk, I will discuss some late 20th and early 21st century works in which artists appear as built environments that possibly raise questions about appearance and “public space.” I will also think about some performance-based contemporary work that performs homage, that is, art appearing as other art has appeared. In this effort, I will think about artwork against the grain of human or human-centric citationality, a practice that might also find Dionysian roots and limbs in the ancient world of course, if arguably prior to the rise of democracy. In a time of demands for racial justice and a time of planetary peril, what else might it mean for democracy to appear as others have appeared?