Messianic Nihilism THESIS LIBRARY FINAL COPY.pdf (31.39 MB)

Messianic Nihilism: Walter Benjamin and Georges Bataille with the Photography of Documents (1929-1930).

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thesis
posted on 29.09.2020 by URSULA CORNELIA POWRIE DE LEEUW
In this thesis, I analyse a selection of photographs and essays from the journal Documents (1929-1930), alongside the philosophy of Walter Benjamin and Georges Bataille. Through this configuration, I propose a theory of messianic nihilism. I focus on Benjamin and Bataille’s analysis of modernity and its apparatus of technological reproduction. I address this through the photographs of Karl Blossfeldt, Eli Lotar, and Jacques-André Boiffard as they interpenetrate with the texts published alongside them. Through the photography of Documents, I argue that ‘messianic nihilism’ emerges as a reconsidered relation to space, and time, that contests teleological notions of progress and the supremacy of language as a homogeneous form of communication.

History

Campus location

Australia

Principal supervisor

Jan Patricia Bryant

Additional supervisor 1

Rex Butler

Year of Award

2020

Department, School or Centre

Fine Art

Course

Master of Arts

Degree Type

MPHIL

Exports