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The Visual Representation of Holocaust through the ‘postmemory’: Focusing on the Works of Christian Boltanski and Anselm Kiefer

김지예 1

1홍익대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

Holocaust has significantly discussed in the various academic fields including historical academic world. As many artists have represented Holocaust, the relation between Holocaust and the representation of visual art has been a important point at issue. The pieces of work of Christian Boltanski(1944- ) who is a French artist and Anselm Kiefer(1946- ) who is a German artist at the same age are in the center of point at issue. Since 1980’s, two artists constantly have represented Holocaust in their works. This study notes the ‘belated’ visual representation of Holocaust which shows in the work of Boltanski and Kiefer. The question about why this old event which is not experienced to them constantly has been represented is the starting point in this study. Therefore, this study is about “after Holocaust”, not digging into Holocaust but how to we remember it and make it a visual representation. In other words, as we have mentioned above, it is to define the possibility that how the artists who don’t have any direct memory about it can represent Holocaust and to considerate its meaning. For this, I highlighted the fact that Holocaust is a trauma event and combined ‘nachtraglich’ theory of Sigmund Freud who analyzed the late effect of the trauma with the analysis of work of Boltanski and Kiefer. Also, I considerated the concept of Marianne Hirsch’s ‘postmemory’ which is on the basis of ‘nachtraglich’ theory of Freud. If the ‘nachtraglich’ theory of Freud becomes a basis in this study, the concept of ‘postmemory’ is what analyzed that how ‘nachtraglich’ can be discussed in the visual representation of real second generation so it is noticed in this study. In unit 1, I noted the overall works of Boltanski and Kiefer especially focusing on the relation with the representation of Holocaust. Through their works, I analyzed that how Holocaust would be showed directly or indirectly by overall trends. Before above, I will mention the positions of two artists in Holocaust representation and discuss their points of sameness and difference in short. Before analyzing the main works of Boltanski and Kiefer, it is considered ‘nachtraglich’theory of Freud in chapter 2 to define the follow-up influece of trauma. The discussion of the follow-up recognition of trauma and the period of incubation was mainly dealed in the psychoanalysis of Freud. Through the theorical consideration of ‘nachtraglich’ theory of Freud, the transmission of trauma of Holocaust hasan effect on ‘belated’ generation. At the same time, the next generations could go back to the past in which they couldn’t harmonize and they can give evidence and reconsideration. Also it is discussed Hirsch’s ‘postmemory’in after ‘nachtraglich’ of trauma. Hirsch didn’t deal with the ‘nachtraglich’ in detail, but she insisted on the delayed effect of trauma. ‘postmemory’ generations are affected by stories,photos, films, literatures which are surrounded them. The study of second generation which are related complicately has been continued in the art and various academical fields. ‘postmemory’ concept is in the context of the study. In this study, it is highlighted that Hirsch analyzed trauma’s nachtraglich specially in the artistic representation, it is analyzed the characteristics of artistic representation of second and third generations. On the basis of the constructive approach of ‘nachtraglich’ of the trauma memory, the works of Boltanski and Kiefer are analyzed in chapter 3. In chapter 3 unit 1, the works of Boltanski which has been represented Holocaust first, and in chapter 3 unit 2, the works of Kiefer are discussed. In chapter 3, it is noted that there are differences in two artist’s works on the media and the way of expressions but they all showed the break between ‘memory’and ‘nachtraglich’. In the works of Boltanski, I paid attention to anonymity of the blurred image and the bogus relation between the photo and caption. In the works of Kiefer, it is mainly discussed the coexistence with the harmer and the sufferer and the combination of the historical fact and myth. In this study, it is analyzed that these artists represented Holocaust victims prominently and simultaneously, the facts that these factors makes the historical specificity ambiguous through the specific works. Centering around the works of the Boltanski and Kiefer, to consider the follow-up visual representation of Holocaust doesn’t end up on the discussion about the Holocaust event. The basic starting in this study is about how the extreme trauma which is faced to human constantly has an effect and what follow-up consideration through the visual representation concretely means. Especially, it is the meaning of this study to discuss that the structure of the ‘nachtraglich’ of the trauma of Freud is grafted on to the belated visual representation of Holocaust. Through the theory of ‘nachtraglich’, it will be discussed fundamentally why the event which could be considered as the past symbolizes as a visual art belatedly.

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