What is Reality? Walter Benjamin, Roland Barthes, Jacques Derrida, Judith Butler, and the artist Karin Kneffel on the deconstruction of the familiar as liberation from determination

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What is reality? It is postmodern or poststructuralist philosophers like Roland Barthes, who realized that it only seems that the media present reality in the form of facts, because they actually spread myths. Accordingly, Jacques Derrida made it clear that communication via media is not based on logic, but is characterized by a significant “différance” between a “marque” (trace) of the past and the expectations of the future. Both agreed, that the initial misunderstanding of the concept of reality must be uncovered or "deconstructed". This is more than necessary for them, because media, be it pictures or language, in truth convey values that are culturally and socially significant. They ‘iterate’ these values subliminally, because what shows up are only placeholders and thus mere forms (“structures of graphematic”) that are superficially realised as facts (“stereotypes”). In this way, according to Barthes, we all accept without question the values hidden behind them, so that they can gain a normative power that unconsciously guides our thinking, our decisions and our actions. Afterwards, it is Judith Butler who critically asked: How can we ever escape from this? Given the power of the subliminal dominant discourses, she saw the only effective solution “im Umdeuten” (in reinterpretation) of their subliminal values. In order to finally escape this “parasitic existence at the ritual”, the media philosopher Walter Benjamin already suggested to trigger "Chockwirkungen” (shock effects) in the viewer. It is the German painter Karin Kneffel, so it shall be shown, who has realized this with her series Fruits and Interiors in the most beautiful photorealistic strategy.
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Archival date: 2020-09-18
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