Lecture: Frauke Berndt (Tuebingen Univ.)

"Beautiful Suffering: Friedrich Schiller and Contemporary Photography"

In a series of letters On the Aesthetic Education of Man (1795) Friedrich Schiller secured the aesthetic mediation of the ethical ideal anthropologically and framed it within a history-philosophical perspective. Yet, humans not only devote themselves to this ideal, but rather literally engrave these role models which aesthetically convey this ideal in their bodies – at least, that’s how Jens Neumann and Edgar Rodtmann see it. Neumann and Rodtmann have operated a studio for portrait and photojournalism in Berlin-Kreuzberg since 1995. In their photo series Bodies created in 2007, they photographed people who had made their bodies the medium of their ideal and glorified themselves as ‘completed individuals’ in the traces of suffering.