Nutzerkonto

»Aesthetics and the Alien: Straub/Huillet in ›Moses und Aron‹«

29.03.2017, 19:00
e-flux, East Broadway 311, 10002 New York, NY

e-flux lecture by Ute Holl

 

Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet's adaptation of Arnold Schoenberg's opera Moses und Aron (Moses and Aaron), shot in 1974 and dedicated to Holger Meins, is a study on migration, exile, and on being a stranger or alien. The lecture will look at the strategies of technical media Straub and Huillet apply to work with sounds and images in their film. In the equal distribution of aesthetic elements, their film follows Schoenberg's rule of twelve-tone distribution of indiscrimintae perception. Thus, the film confronts the situation 'before the law', violence, and the question of the (missing) people.

e-flux lectures is a series of events dedicated to discovering the protocols of twenty-first century truth, assuming these still exist.

 

Live stream: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/e-flux

Ute Holl

Ute Holl

ist Professorin für Medienwissenschaft an der Universität Basel. Zu ihren Forschungsschwerpunkten gehören Medienästhetik und Wahrnehmungstheorien, mediale Anthropologie und experimentelles Kino, sowie Kinosound und Elektroakustik. 

Ute Holl: The Moses Complex

Moses has long been a source of modern fascination. For Sigmund Freud and psychoanalysis, Moses was a particularly fruitful subject for the study of memory and historiography. He also held great interest for the visual and performing arts. In the 1920s and ’30s, the composer Arnold Schoenberg wrote the three-act opera Moses and Aron. First performed just a few years before his exile to the United States, it required that its audiences distinguish voices from forceful background noise, just as Moses had to confront the burning bush before he could hear the voice of God. In 1974, filmmakers Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet created an avant-garde cinematic adaptation of Schoenberg’s opera that continued the composer’s examination of the established hierarchies of seeing and hearing.

In The Moses Complex, Ute Holl analyzes these major works in detail and deep historical context, synthesizing the complex models of resistance to explore the relationships among media, migration, and politics. Since Moses descended from Sinai with the tablets inscribed with the Ten Commandments, new media and new laws have often emerged simultaneously. Liberation, in particular, has been negotiated through many different cultural media, with psychoanalysis, music, and cinema all describing exodus and exile as a process of force. Offering a dynamic and comprehensive political and cultural theory of migration and violence, The Moses Complex speaks equally well to psychoanalytic, musical, and cinematic thinking as it does to our tendency toward violence in the treatment of migrants today.