Schau! Wie eine staatliche Organisation das 20. Jahrhundert ausstellt und wir entsprechende Mythen dekonstruieren können
Autor: Kristina Chmelar
[erschienen in: IMAGE 27 (Ausgabe Januar 2018)]
In the commemorative year 2014, a German governmental organisation presented an exhibition to the public. Most of the exhibits were documentary photographs. For Political Scientists who are interested in politics of history in general and the visual representation of history in particular a search for an appropriate theoretical and methodological approach started. While the interdisciplinary discourse is characterized by the unproductive polarity between realists (especially in Political Science and History) and constructivists (especially in Cultural Studies) not only since the iconic and pictorial turn respectively, the article sounds out a perspective in-between. Contrary to the mainstream, who handles Roland Barthes as a realist, the starting point here is a post-constructivist reading of his phototheoretical works. It allows neither to transfigure photographs as permeable media nor to misconceive their power of evidence as a mere coding. In addition, Barthes’ approach provides some helpful instruments to deconstruct visually organised myths within the framework of a historical exhibition.