Identity. Catalogue 'Werkschau Nr. 45'


Fotogalerie Wien


Date of release: January 31th 2011
Edited by Fotogalerie Wien
Contextual essays by Claudia Marion Stemberger
144 pages, English and German, numerous colour images
ISBN 978-3-902725-30-1

© Drahtzieher – Barbara Wais / Fotogalerie Wien 2010

Identity. Never Identical?

"What constitutes identity today?" The curatorial collective of the Fotogalerie Wien asked the question while considering the thematic emphasis for 2010. The three-part exhibition series brings present-day identity into focus in all its diverse and processual forms-between biography, identity formation, and belonging. The artistic positions shown reflect the permanently changing and, above all, ambiguous facets of the identity of today's late modern subject. The participating artists visualize how interwoven personal and collective identity paradoxically oscillates between the self-determined and the heteronomous. Stated polemically, in the field of art-exhibition praxis as well as artistic process-terms are put up for negotiation without previously agreeing a definition. Inflationary use of the term "identity" occurs not only in popular culture[1]but also in visual culture too. Visual culture is no exception to the use of the term "identity" and its inflationary employment in everyday culture.

Above all, the subject of identity does possess a high level of "temporal diagnostic potential".[2] The present text will make a provisional attempt at disambiguating the term. Its historical origins-in contrast to the boom in its use in the popular sciences-allows its relevance in the humanities to become visible.[3] It is not only important in the art context to differentiate between the social science terminological categories of personal and collective identity. Therefore, the conclusion of this article is formed by consideration of how artistic practices broker the change and explosive power of the term as self-dramatization or as part of the discourse on difference in exhibition displays.

Identity discourse. The history of an idea.

In passing: To say of two things they are identical is nonsense, and to say of one thing it is identical with itself, says nothing. -– Ludwig Wittgenstein[4]

Instead of leading to clarification, the etymological derivation of the word "identity" from the Latin "idem", the self, points to the fuzziness and ambiguity of the term: How can I be identical to myself? Do I remain the same through time and change or am I always another? What generates or safeguards the unity and continuity of the self? My body, my thoughts, my desires, or even my name?[5] Ludwig Wittgenstein's writings make clear that academic definitions of terms paradoxically underline their fuzziness.[6] Right up to the present day the term "identity" continues to raise significant questions-for philosophical and socio-scientific thought-about relations between stability and change, structure and history, being and becoming, or unity and difference.[7] These questions reflect how the cognitive subject is constituted, how in/secure "proof" of a scientific result can be, or what names and terms purport to identify.

The term identity is regarded as one of the fundamental theoretical terms in the psychology, sociology, and ethnology of the 20th century. The conventional meaning of the term as it is presently used was established in the areas of pragmatic and psychoanalytical thought and interaction theory more than anywhere else.

The expression first attained greater currency in the humanities in the context of individual psychology in the 1940s. The writings of Erik H. Erikson exercised a fundamental influence on the popularization of ego identity.[8] The second thread in the socio-psychological history of the term can be followed in the symbolic interactionism of Anselm Strauss or Erving Goffman who attempted to compensate for the deficits of (US American) role theory with their own definition of identity.[9]

Social sciences use the term "identity" in two variations - as personal and collective identity. Since other disciplines also began to employ the term, it is no longer used just in connection with the collective part which inherit subjectivity, such as subject membership of specific groups such as gender, culture, ethnicity, nation, class, or religion. Henceforth, as Aleida Assmann and Heidrun Friese critically describe, identity defines the "identity" of these groups: "However, one might suspect that identity is a new word for an old problem which, in previous epochs, was dealt with using terms such as being, person, character, education, people." [10]

In the 1980s, the transdisciplinary definition of identity became increasingly important. As a result of the changes in Europe at the end of the 1980s and processes of social transformation that had consequences for the self-understanding of the subject, the term identity became a topical one, especially in so-called everyday discourses.[11] On the one hand the inflationary use of the term identity is an indication of its sometimes undifferentiated use and, on the other, of experiences of the upheavals, of loss, as well as liberation. As a further consequence, the spectrum of academic discourse is no longer just in evidence in reflexive social psychology but also as a subject of research in cultural studies.

In the final analysis, in the German-speaking area, the late modern conception of personal identity usually follows the "patchwork metaphor" to be found in the work of Heiner Keupp and his research group.[12]

For a long period, the term identity was situated in normative assumptions of a(n allegedly) autonomous subject and that subject's actions. However, the notion of the unity and coherence of a society, its values, and norms or the once-postulated social stability and continuity have long since ceased to cement the reliability of our knowledge. We have taken leave of the subject that autonomously creates the world but are nevertheless exposed-as a society as well as individuals-to the influences of individualization, pluralization, and globalization. The notion of identity is thus ambiguously situated in the tension between autonomy and heteronomy in a world in which the subject has to balance demands of the inner and outer worlds.

Nowadays the term is negotiated in heterogeneous problem areas using different methodologies in a way that transcends disciplines and brings out its relationship to the historical process of meaning ascription and cultural memory work. The new direction in the ontology of the social takes leave of the self-confirmation of the identity of the subject and society and instead develops concepts of identity which include temporality along with historicity.[13] Identity is a state of becoming and understood as provisional. In particular, poststructural theory understands identity as the result of mutual influences - identity as a process where the subject is constantly engaged in negotiation. In this context the construction of identity is under the influence of social and political practices.

Personal Identity: From Crisis to Project

Identity is a project which has the goal of producing a necessary or desired sense of identity in the individual. Basic preconditions for this feeling are social recognition and belonging [...] Everyday identity has the task of matching and connecting up the different partial identities [...] The quality and results of the identity work depend on the person's resources-certainly a substitute notion that plays down issues of power-from individual/biographical skills through network resources mediated by communication to ideologies and structural guidelines mediated by society and institutions. [14] – Heiner Keupp.

The personal/biographical/individual or also self-identity marks the subject's consciousness of his/her own continuity in time and includes an assumption of the person's coherence.[15] The identity of a subject is constituted by producing-also reproducing-subject forms: "This [identity] is not created directly but, rather, by reference to models of an anti-subject using a marking out of 'differences' as they are contained in the subject culture."[16] (Andreas Reckwitz) The subject differentiates between inside and outside by erecting a border to Others, to the anti-subject.[17] In everyday discourse the terms identity and individuality are often mixed up: identity must not be equated with either the uniqueness of the individual nor with the specifically late modern cultural code of individuality in which, paradoxically, idiosyncrasy turns out to be a collective pattern. [18]

Historically, Erik H. Erikson's concept has determined our understanding of personal identity since the 1940s. He considered his expression of the psycho-social "ego identity" in his writings in connection with identity, life history, and historical moments.[19] Erikson's tendentially ambiguous definition of the term[20] specifically postulates a connection between the identity and the subject's experience of crises. By binding the normative term to the adolescent crisis, he generalizes, describing it as an anthropological problem. The (suggested) crisis of identity grew to be an epidemic syndrome in the second half of the 20th century.[21] If failure is not overcome a loss of identity may result which becomes manifest as a diffusion of the consciousness of place or time and is thus a problem of identity, which above all marks a crisis of orientation and meaning.[22]

The subject's identity is not fixed, it is a limited and fragile construct. Successful identity work requires the establishment of a relationship to the self and the world even though the product is always provisional. Personal identity in late modernity certainly cannot be defined as arbitrary but represents the result of an active effort on the part of the subject. Under the continuously present influence of experiences of contingency, difference, and alterity, the late modern present is experienced as unstable - dynamized and temporalized.

However, the work on one's own identity makes it possible to construct a self-determined identity construct; an effort that opens up a chance but which also contains a risk since the identity process is bound up with a dependence on psychological, social, and also material resources. Subjects have to face the challenge of how they can remain the same even though they modify their own values and goals and even though external conditions are continuously changing. The synthesis of this patchwork of partial identities can be understood as a process that generates meaning and helps the subjects to orientate themselves in the world.[23] Identity can only be successful when it constitutes itself as an ordered structure and if the heterogeneity can be synthesized. Whoever is able to form themselves into a coherent and continuous unity is capable of social action. As producing and maintaining an identity means the acceptance of multiple voices, and the development of an awareness of history since identity work is an ex post facto process.

The initially meaningful distinction between the two variants of the concept of identity, personal and collective identity, tendentially veils relations between the two interpretations since both personal and collective identity are equally subject to current changes. On the one hand individual identity work comes into confrontation-for instance, during the development of relationships to other subjects- with collective patterns of identity. On the other hand subjects have to locate themselves within their own family, culture, or nation. A collective identity can only follow from that if a group of individuals jointly transfers their individual identity to the same collective.[24]

Collective Identity(-ies) Ideology or Meaning Generator?

The stronger the border identities erect as an external firewall more compact, defensive, and, if necessary, also potentially more aggressive the are; they are at their most elastic and differentiated when they allow the borders themselves to become the reflexive object of a permanently open identity formation. That means that the counter-notion to identity, viz, difference, ceases to be defined as the Other of the identity constituted by drawing borders and forming opposites. As soon as the difference is transferred to the interior of the identity, the term loses its problematic connotations of homogeneity and totality, substance and organicity. Understood in this way, identity would no longer be the opposite of alterity but the practice of the difference. – Aleida Assmann, Heidrun Friese[25]

Forms of collective identity come into being as cultural, ethnic, religious, national, or gender identity.[26] Stuart Hall's notion of cultural identity [27] established a concept of (collective) identity in which the dimensions of cultural identity are prefigured in particular as identity politics.[28] Thus at the present time, neither the fundamental truths of religion and social utopias, nor social institutions have been able to counteract the loss of orientation. The resultant loss of meaning can be read against a screen of feeling; convincing offers of orientation or a widely anchored basis for a perspective on the world have been lost during postmodernity.

At the same time disadvantaged groups in society are emancipating/have emancipated themselves from negatively connotated identities-whether ethnic, religious, sexual, or cultural minorities-by reworking these ascriptions in the direction of a positive opportunity for identification.[29] Here the basis of this notion of identity is formed by the-questionable-deviation from the norm. Assuming pluralized societies, it is the "not identical" that resides at the centre of identity proposals. Subjects ask themselves the question as to which specific experiences they share with only a few other subjects or, more importantly, which experiences lead to difference. As a consequence, minorities demand recognition of their cultural identity(ies). However a tendency to establish group identities like this involves the danger of cementing a new substantialism or even a new ethnicization,[30] though establishing cultural identities-and thus membership of the group-of this nature does neglect the regional and historical context of cultural practices.[31]

Emanuel Castells assumes an impending collapse of late modernity and places the inception of the network society at the end of this epoch. Castells argues that the advent of network society represents a fundamental challenge to (collective) identities and, as a result, gives rise to social changes.[32] For most subjects and groups the separation of local and global anchors power and experience in different referential systems of time and space. With the exception of elites, global networks make reflexive life planning impossible[33]: "And producing intimacy on the basis of trust requires a new definition of an identity that is autonomous in respect of the network logic of prevailing institutions and organizations."[34] Collective identity now longer grows out of civil society but constitutes itself out of the defensiveness of the communes or communities that reconstruct identity in order to generate meaning. The consequence is an "exclusion of the excluders by the excluded".[35] (Castells)

Criticism of notions of collective identity have been expressed by social psychology in the form of doubts about the construction of collective identity using definitions of identity from individual psychology applied by analogy to collective identity.[36] Experiences of crisis-postulated by Erikson for the individual-are generalizingly restructured into "socio-pathological diagnoses" [37] (Jochen Straub). That identity is subject to a purely "symbolic form"[38] (Assmann) is ignored by ascribing a biophysical unity to the collective: "The social body does not exist in the sense of being a visible, palpable reality. It is a metaphor, an imaginary magnitude, a social construct."[39]

The desire in the present to re/construct and preserve the collective identity of large, anonymous, complex groups unmasks doubtful "labelling of one's own" (Straub) and can be regarded as problematic. This does not only entail issues of power mediated over mechanisms of inclusion and exclusion but also reinforces a cliché-like dichotomy of images of self and Others: "Ideological constructs of this nature often propagate pseudo-identities for pseudo-collectives."[40] In this instance collective subjects are invented and ascribed a particular identity instead of the allowing historical experience to be voiced.[41] In this context Straub differentiates between two uses of the term collective identity: a normative type, as an ideological/manipulative rule and a reconstructive type, as a scientific/empirical postscript. The former misuses the term identity and falls under suspicion of ideology for suggesting the unity of a heterogeneous collective. The second use rests on scientific connections between interpretive social sciences and cultural studies which are dedicated to describing collective identity.

Postcolonial studies or gender studies, for instance, examine the marginalization of minorities or excluded groups. Appropriately, in the context of a cultural/political practice they link identity to articulation and the power to act.[42] However, real groups are characterized by the commonalities in their relationship to themselves and the world. They constitute collectives in that, for their orientation, they identify with group values or goals and share the socio-cultural origins, traditions, and life styles.[43]

On the Reception of Identity Discourses in the Visual Arts

In the main the discourse on identity in contemporary art takes place instead in two (over-lapping) areas - on the one hand as self-staging and, on the other, against a screen of the discourse on difference.

In art works and artists' thoughts, examining identity in the form of self-staging has taken place since the Renaissance - in the self-portrait. The proximity of the self-portrait to fiction and suggestion provides a paradigmatic illustration of the self/understanding of the artist in early modernity. Self-staging as artistic strategy crystallized at a point in time when the modern (artist) subject began to authorize itself as a creator. "Reliance on notions of the body, the image, mimesis (imitation), poiesis (creation), and the similarity or appearance of individuality characterize the self-portrait just as much as the necessary declaration by the artists who made them."[44] Thus while Albrecht Dürer's Christological self-portrait, for instance, refers to the self-stylization of the god-like-male-artist subject, Rembrandt van Rijn's and, later, Gustave Courbet's self-portraits can be understood as role games in which the artists attempt to conceal themselves or take on the role of another figure.

These self-reflective gestures do not only show the transformed understanding of authorship but also reveal how dominant subject cultures and aesthetic movements exercise reciprocal influence. Thus Andreas Reckwitz proposes that it is not the visual culture that is to be positioned autonomous but, rather, it is the aesthetic movements themselves which, as the "subject-transformative movements of modernity",[45] generate the central elements of meaning and change the (previously dominant) subject cultures.[46] It is not only as a result of the modern experience of contingency that artists questioned the traditional representational function of the self-portrait. The end of the age of the bourgeoisie also caused the personality cult of the individual portrait to waver: the portrayed objects and subjects no longer form a unified whole but, with the aid of self-staging, artists encounter their own gaze. As the (allegedly) authorized subject begins to harbour doubts about its own authority, the self-portrait turns out to be the chart of a fragmented psyche.[47]

Although photography in the 1840s initially encountered the potential of the medium as unlabelled photographic depictions, Walter Benjamin described them as "not the portraits but nameless images of people"[48] as the opposite of (painted) "soulful portraits".[49] However, it was not long before photographers challenged the objective evidential function and subverted reality not only by confronting their own gaze, but, above all, by (subjectively) staging themselves.[50] After the First World War avantgarde photographers questioned the total unity of the self and the traditional photographic portrait as an expression of personality. Instead they fragmented the mimetic moment and used technical effects to create estrangement.[51]

Since the 1960s, the strategy of self-staging has undergone a diversity of new artistic processes. Jacques Lacan's article on the "mirror stage"-the insight that the mirror image confronts the impalpable real with the imaginary-has additionally challenged the relationship between subject and object in photography and video art: as desire, as something unconscious or as experience of difference. Artists use processes of self-transformation, stage doppelgängers, and also use "uncommon" art materials and techniques. The identity discourses and the term's shift of meaning also finds expression in art: experiences of fragmentation and pluralization drive the works in the direction of the processual as when Bruce Nauman explores the self in the studio, Dan Graham reflects on the subject-object relationship, or Valie Export resists the normative representation of femininity. One consequence of post-structuralist thought, with its deconstruction of subjectivity, originality, and authorship, is that self-dramatization appeared to have become impossible. As early as the 1970s, "self-staging as objection" (Annemarie Matzke) and, equally, the "contradiction in [...] making oneself an object to be looked at" could be found in body art, performance, queer culture, representation critiques and in photography.[52]

Today self-staging as an artistic strategy refuses authentic subjectivity. In particular, the role images in the photographic work of Cindy Sherman mark the point after which the (artistic) representation of the subject can only be read as pseudo-authentic. Finally, the social-psychological identity discourse in late modernity, with its work on the fragile construct of the patchwork identity, characterizes the artistic process. Fictionalized biographical set pieces in which, for example, the artist imagines images of childhood or raises objections to normative role models, refer to the temporary and self-determined character of individual identity.[53]

The processes of exhibiting also refer to the boom in, and topicality of, the concept of identity and the accompanying art/discourse. The framework for their interpretation in exhibition displays first provided manifestations of gender and ethnicity although exhibitions contained a potential for cementing authority and thus difference too.[54] The identity discourse taken up by visual culture in the initial phase had a tendency to essentialize the understanding of identity. Starting out from negatively connotated stereotypes in connection with gender and ethnicity, an attempt was made to fill the negative images with positive content and help the artists-who were to be part of a neglected and excluded discourse-to achieve greater access to museums.

As a consequence, a conflict was perceptible in the production and reception of "postcolonial art" between the diverging poles of strengthening naturalization on the one hand and, on the other, critiquing the making collective identity into an ideological issue. It was only in the second phase of the reception of the concept of identity that critiques of stereotypes moved onto a different plane: artists worked out that (collective) identity should be understood as a social construct. Turning away from essentializing identity policies now opened up the possibility of dissolving the previous thought patterns based on pairs of opposites-black and white, man and woman-in favour of the notion of multiple partial identities.

From the postcolonial studies perspective, two exhibitions in the 1980s focussed on paradigmatic issues of representation and collecting non-European art. The first exhibition, 'Primitivism' in the 20th Century Art: Affinities of the Modern and the Tribal[55] at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York in 1984 confronted modern art with indigenous works without, however, critically reflecting on the notion of indigenous art in the context European and American modernity. In contrast, in 1989 the Les Magiciens de la terre[56] in the Centre Georges Pompidou presented exclusively contemporary artists-half from the West and half from non-Western places-though from the critics' point of view it made the mistake of paradoxically strengthening demands for authenticity from non-European art.[57] The emphatic questioning of the polarization of the first and third world in both of these shows and the abrogation of the opposition of centre and periphery also challenged the relationship between modern and indigenous art.

In the end, using the discourse on hybridity as a guideline, artists chose the so-called "third way" between the globalized art world and local art praxis. Postcolonial discourse,[58] both art and theory, questioned Western discourse hegemony and foregrounded the observer's point of view at the same time. The necessity of positively connotating certain identities and of overcoming their negative implications is accompanied by the question of how, for along time, critical representation of ethnicity in exhibition displays obscured partial identities such as social status or religious and sexual orientations.[59] For the 1993 Whitney Biennale in New York the curators spotlighted art works that focussed on identity, specifically focussing on the context of the politically motivated art praxis of Afro-American artists. The procedures used by the artists selected extended from a critique on documentary representation and references to personal experiences to a change in the definition of art.[60]

Finally, in 1995, the Venice Biennale also took up the subject of identity: the anniversary exhibition, Identità e alterità. figure del corpo 1895-1995 examined the portrait between the poles of alterity and identity. It not only marked the parallel between the concept boom in identity discourse in the humanities or everyday discourse since the 1980s, but also revealed how, right from the beginning, art-as the (desired or subversive) representative of national culture in large-scale exhibitions-had been imagined as an identity generator or at least allowed itself to be uncritically instrumentalized. It thus marked the culmination of a series of world exhibitions which sometimes had inglorious origins and thrusts. A decade later, in 2007, the exhibition Global Feminisms in the Brooklyn Museum took up a fluid, late-modern notion of identity dealing with the categories of gender and ethnicity in a way that was neither additive nor dichotomous. Instead the participating artists showed their multiple partial identities in their works.[61]

Up to the present day artists and their works have refused not only to be categorized within a single, unalterable identity, the manipulative use of collective identity construction, but also the ascription of a rigid classification of a specific art praxis.[62] They oscillate in the in between, between public space and museum space. The artists usually reflect identity in ephemeral processes that are frequently in the neighbourhood of performance and installation and reject not only notions of the timeless art work but also ideas of stable identities.[63]

Translation by Tim Sharp.


[1] The boom in the use of the word "identity" and its omnipresence lead to, for example, business and local authorities attributing "corporate identities" to themselves.

[2] Heiner Keupp et al.: Identitätskonstruktionen. Das Patchwork der Identitäten in der Spätmoderne, Hamburg 1999, 8.

[3] The author is critically conscious of the ethnocentricity of the (German) humanities: instead of assuming modernity and postmodernity to be a global society, identity research in the (north)western hemisphere limits itself to primarily Western forms of the subject. Even the appropriation of non-Western elements has not been taken into account in this field of discourse.

[4] Ludwig Wittgenstein: Tractatus logicus-philosophicus. Werkausgabe, vol.1, Frankfurt am Main 1984, 62, 5.503. cf.. also Philosophische Untersuchungen in the same volume.

[5] Cf. Heidrun Friese: "Identität: Begehren, Name, Differenz", in: Aleida Assmann/Heidrun Friese (Eds.), Identitäten. Erinnerung, Geschichte, Identität, Frankfurt am Main 1998, 30 (footnote 12) and 31.

[6] At the present time talking about identity seems to have stopped having to mark who or what is identical to itself: "The identity discourse attempts to establish something conceptually that it emphatically avoids to name empirically". Cf. Peter Wagner:"Fest-Stellungen. Beobachtungen zur sozialwissenschaftlichen Diskussion über Identität", in: Aleida Assmann/Heidrun Friese (Eds.), Identitäten. Erinnerung, Geschichte, Identität, Frankfurt am Main 1998, 45.

[7] Cf. Aleida Assmann/Heidrun Friese: "Introduction", ibid. (Eds.), Identitäten. Erinnerung, Geschichte, Identität, Frankfurt am Main 1998, 13.

[8] Cf. Erik H. Erikson: Identität und Lebenszyklus, Frankfurt am Main 1973.

[9] Cf. Anselm Strauss: Spiegel und Masken. Die Suche nach Identität, Frankfurt am Main 1974. Cf. also Erving Goffmann: Stigma. Über Techniken der Bewältigung beschädigter Identität, Frankfurt am Main 1967.

[10] Aleida Assmann/Heidrun Friese: "Introduction" op.cit. dentitäten. Erinnerung, Geschichte, Identität, Frankfurt am Main 1998, 12.

[11] Popular discourses neglect to define what, for example, constitutes the identity of a person, a group, or a nation. What does it mean to talk about the "corporate identity" of a business? Which ideologies motivate discussion of a European identity?

[12] The deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) [German Reasearch Community] made support possible for the special research area „Entwicklungsperspektiven von Arbeit [Development Perspectives of Work] " at the Ludwig Maximilans University, Munich from 1986 to 1996.

[13] Cf. Assmann/Friese, Einleitung, 13f, relating to Peter Wagner.

[14] Heiner Keupp: "Diskursarena Identität: Lernprozesse in der Identitätsforschung", in: Heiner Keupp/Renate Höfer (Eds.), Identitätsarbeit heute. Klassische und aktuelle Perspektiven der Identitätsforschung, Frankfurt am Main 1997, 27.

[15] Cf. Peter Wagner: "Fest-Stellungen. Beobachtungen zur sozialwissenschaftlichen Diskussion über Identität", in: Aleida Assmann and Heidrun Friese (Eds.), Identitäten. Erinnerung, Geschichte, Identität, Frankfurt am Main 1998, 45.

[16] Andreas Reckwitz: Das hybride Subjekt. Eine Theorie der Subjektkulturen von der bürgerlichen Moderne zur Postmoderne, Weilerswist 2006, 45.

[17] In the context of postcolonial studies, the anti-subject is the cultural Other, cf. also the discourse on "Othering" and Irit Rogoff's terminology.

[18] Cf. Reckwitz, op.cit. 48.

[19] Cf. Erikson's essays, which were first published between 1946 and 1956 in the USA.

[20] Critiques of Erikson's definition of identity point out his ambiguous shifts between personal and collective identity, his mixing of content/quality aspects with the formal/structural ones, his affirmation of the US American employee subject of the 1950s/1960s as well as his existentialization of women's identity. Cf. Jochen Straub: "Personale und kollektive Identität. Zur Analyse eines theoretischen Begriffs", in: Aleida Assmann/Heidrun Friese (Eds.), Identitäten. Erinnerung, Geschichte, Identität, Frankfurt am Main 1998, 76, footnote 8.

[21] Cf. Straub, Personale und kollektive Identität, 76, footnote 8.

[22] Cf. ebenda, 86, 90.

[23] Cf. Keupp, Identitätskonstruktionen, 7.

[24] Cf. Wagner, Fest-Stellungen, 46.

[25] Assmann/Friese, Einleitung, 23.

[26] Notwithstanding the doubtless importance of other collective identities in addition to cultural identities, in the following it is not possible to do more than cursorily mention gender, national, or ethnic identity discourses.

[27] Cf. Stuart Hall and Paul du Gay: Questions of cultural identity, London 1996.

[28] Cf. ebenda.

[29] Cf. Keupp et al.: Identitätskonstruktionen. Das Patchwork der Identitäten in der Spätmoderne, Hamburg 1999, 171f.

[30] Cultural studies, for example, warns of re-ethnicization of this nature.

[31] Cf. Keupp, Identitätskonstruktionen, 171f.

[32] Cf. Manuel Castells: Die Macht der Identität: Teil 2 der Trilogie. Das Informationszeitalter, Opladen 2002, 13.

[33] Cf. Anthony Giddens: Modernity and Self-Identity. Self and Society in the Late Modern Age, Cambridge 1991.

[34] Castells, Die Macht der Identität, 13.

[35] Ebenda, 11.

[36] Cf. Straub, Personale und kollektive Identität, 83, 96.

[37] Ebd., 101.

[38] Jan Assmann: Das kulturelle Gedächtnis. Schrift, Erinnerung und politische Identität in frühen Hochkulturen, München 1992, S. 312.

[39] Ebd., 312.

[40] Straub, Personale und kollektive Identität, 100.

[41] Im Kontext des Nationalismus nährt sich kollektive Identität von der fortlaufenden Mobilisierung eines Krisenbewusstseins. Das reale Vorhandensein von religiösen, geschlechtlichten, ethnischen oder Klassenunterschieden wird ausgeblendet.

[42] Cf. Assmann/Friese, Einleitung, 13.

[43] Cf. Straub, Personale und kollektive Identität, 98, 102-104.

[44] Doris Krystof: "Identität und Selbstinszenierung", in: Hubertus Butin (Ed.), Begriffslexikon zur zeitgenössischen Kunst, Cologne 2002, 114.

[45] Reckwitz, Das hybride Subjekt, 18f.

[46] Cf. ebenda, 19.

[47] For a long time the self-portrait appeared to be almost forgotten, disappearing in between a shift towards the artefact on the one hand (cf. Jackson Pollock or Louise Bourgeois) and, on the other, critiques of the authoritarian, expressive artistic gestures in Surrealism, Fluxus, Happening, and Pop Art which resulted not only in a change in artistic type but also in altered artistic processes. Cf. here Krystof, Identität und Selbstinszenierung, 114, 117.

[48] Walter Benjamin: "Kleine Geschichte der Photographie", in: Das Kunstwerk im Zeitalter seiner technischen Reproduzierbarkeit, Frankfurt am Main 1977, 49.

[49] Ebenda, 50.

[50] Cf. Janos Frecot: "Selbstportraits", in: Monika Faber/Janos Frecot (Ed.), Portrait im Aufbruch. Photographie in Deutschland und Österreich 1900-1938 (exhibition catalogue Neue Galerie, New York 2005; Albertina, Wien 2005), Ostfildern-Ruit 2005, 143.

[51] Cf. Monika Faber: "Nahblicke, Großaufnahmen", Monika Faber/Janos Frecot (Eds.), Portrait im Aufbruch. Photographie in Deutschland und Österreich 1900-1938 (exhibition catalogue Neue Galerie, New York 2005; Albertina, Wien 2005), Ostfildern-Ruit 2005, 126.

[52] Annemarie Matzke: "I Object. Selbstinszenierung als Einspruch", in: springerin. Hefte für Gegenwartskunst, Band XV Heft 2 - Frühjahr 2009/Tanzquartier Wien SPEZIAL - Modell Labor Tanz, 46, 50.

[53] Cf. for example artists such as Christian Boltanski, Sophie Calle, Elke Krystufek.

[54] Cf. Roswitha Muttenthaler and Regina Wonisch: Gesten des Zeigens: Zur Repräsentation von Gender und Race in Ausstellungen, Bielefeld 2006.

[55] The curators of the show were William Rubin and Kirk Varnedoe.

[56] The exhibition was curated by Jean-Hubert Martin.

[57] Cf. Hal Foster: "1989", in: Hal Foster, Rosalind Krauss, Yve-Alain Bois and Benjamin H. D. Buchloh (Eds.), Art Since 1900: Modernism, Antimodernism, Postmodernism, London 2004, 617.

[58] Cf. Theoreticians such as Homi Bhabha, Chandra Talpade Mohanty, Edward Said, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak.

[59] Cf. Foster, 1989, 617.

[60] Cf. Hal Foster: "1993c", in: Hal Foster, Rosalind Krauss, Yve-Alain Bois und Benjamin H. D. Buchloh (Eds.), Art Since 1900: Modernism, Antimodernism, Postmodernism, London 2004, 639.

[61] "Global Feminisms" curated by Maura Reilly and Linda Nochlin. On multiple categories of identity and a dissolution of the binary categories of gender and ethnicity see also the exhibition: "No more bad girls?" in the Kunsthalle Exnergasse in Vienna in 2010, curated by Kathrin Becker and Claudia Marion Stemberger.

[62] Cf. Artists such as Jimmie Durham, David Hammons, Gabriel Orozco or Rirkrit Tiravanija.

[63] Cf. Foster, 1989, 618.


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