Bodies in transfiguration: ontological in-betweenness in the Weimar aesthetics
Embargo Lift Date: 2021-12-04
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This thesis examines the processes of bodily transformation in the Weimar aesthetics embarking on an eclectic philosophy. For this aim, it explores the artworks of Max Ernst, Heinrich Hoerle, Raoul Hausmann, Hannah Höch, Otto Dix, and George Grosz in terms of the liminal visualization of the human body in three central motifs that include the Volkskörper’s (People’s Body) philosophical, aesthetic, and political reflections. This term carries a crucial importance in this thesis to dismantle the subject from its social and individual body structures in which it exists. These artists’ common traits arise from their searching for alternative forms in aesthetic, political, and social realms. The human bodies that are in constant change and transition in these artists’ projects enable an analysis from an interdisciplinary angle, including Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari’s ontology of becoming, Rosi Braidotti’s critical posthumanism, and Donna Haraway’s theory of the cyborg. This integrative methodology demonstrates how the Weimar aesthetics that experience modernism embodies and accommodates different artistic modalities that explore human-machine relationships in various forms.