Humanity is a metahuman concept.

Milo Rau, Rolf Bossart

On Realism

Übersetzt von Michael Turnbull

Veröffentlicht am 04.07.2017


Rolf Bossart: From a certain angle all your projects to date can be described as the elaboration and realization of a new realism. Can the point be determined where the old suddenly appears with the potential for transformation into something new?

Milo Rau: A few months before his death, I carried on a series of conversations with the philosopher and media theorist Friedrich Kittler, who was intensively involved, in his research into cultural technology, with various systems of writing from literature to computer programs. One of these conversations, about the power of images in the Romanian revolution, appeared in the volume Die letzten Tage der Ceausescus [The Last Days of the Ceausescus]. Kittler was no longer able to authorize another one, which concerned the relationship between the general and the particular according to Hegel. But why Hegel? Kittler’s most important books are aggressively undialectical; Kittler was the de-Hegelerizer of German philosophy. But as per the Marx quotation “all forms of state have democracy for their truth,” Kittler was in the habit of consulting the singer of the world mind now and then to verify his own philosophy of technology. Hegel’s definition of the particular as opposed to the general has consequences for a theory of realism: the particular—as formal logicians would come to believe a century after Hegel—isn’t contained within the general. The particular is the place in which the general is realized. And as a materialistically enlightened idealist you could even say that there’s no general beyond its realization. “But the interesting thing about Hegel’s definition,” Kittlers says at this point, “is the objective quality he attributes to the particular. Put differently, there is no absolute particular according to Hegel.” I saw only later, with a kind of shock, that this sentence, which hadn’t struck me at all during the conversation, represented a kind of dogma for my work: there is no absolute particular.

Rolf Bossart: What are your specific conclusions from this?

Milo Rau: This Hegelian insight, transported by Kittler, that there is no absolute particular, actually means that the whole ­theory of subjective narration, of subjective experience, from which performance proceeds has no real basis, because the solitary subjective doesn’t exist in this way. The ­human being is already subsumed or integrated into the collective. And that’s what counts. The moment he goes public or enters the stage, he no longer speaks for himself alone, even when he’s apparently only...

We should basically install a new system program for the present time. If you think about it historically, it’s clear that Kant and the Romantics who came after him couldn’t simply have scuttled past if the whole deconstruction of the Enlightenment hadn’t previously happened. The same ideas, voiced in a pre-postmodern way, for example, can be pure retro-kitsch or the new that the old from which it derives once was. Only when deconstruction has reached its end can we say okay, that was all right and proper, but nonetheless! And the time for this nonetheless, for this straight talking ­beyond all epistemological reservations, is now.

  • Kunsttheorie
  • Realismus
  • Humanismus
  • Transhumanismus
  • Reenactment
  • Künstlerische Praxis
  • Postmoderne

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Rolf Bossart

studierte Theologie und Geschichte in Fribourg, Berlin und Luzern und promovierte über »Die theologische Lesbarkeit von Literatur. Studien zu einer verdrängten Hermeneutik«. Er ist Dozent für Religionswissenschaften und Psychologie und publiziert in verschiedenen Zeitschriften.
Rolf Bossart, Milo Rau: Wiederholung und Ekstase
Weitere Texte von Rolf Bossart bei DIAPHANES
Milo Rau

Milo Rau

studierte in Paris, Berlin und Zürich, u. a. bei Pierre Bourdieu und Tzvetan Todorov. Seit 2002 veröffentlichte er über 50 Theaterstücke, Filme, Bücher und Aktionen. Milo Rau wurde zuletzt mit der Saarbrücker Poetikdozentur für ­Dramatik 2017 und dem 3sat-Preis 2017 geehrt. Ab der Saison 2018/19 übernimmt er die Intendanz des Nationaltheater Gent.
Rolf Bossart, Milo Rau: Wiederholung und Ekstase
Weitere Texte von Milo Rau bei DIAPHANES