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Title: Disorders at the borders : memories of the Gesamtkunstwerk in the paintings of Anselm Kiefer
Author: Wates, Matt
ISNI:       0000 0004 7432 8295
Awarding Body: University of Bristol
Current Institution: University of Bristol
Date of Award: 2018
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In the winter of 2014/15, the Royal Academy in London presented a major Kiefer retrospective, and the artist himself turned 70 in 2015. Furthermore, January 2015 saw the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, and the Holocaust has been a recurring theme in his work. The commencement of this project therefore seemed like a propitious moment to attempt to add to the academic literature concerning this artist, which although fairly extensive nevertheless contains a notable gap, namely the extent to which his practice relates to the discourse of the Wagnerian Gesamtkunstwerk -- even though it has been often invoked in his connection. The aim of my research is therefore to try to theorize this relationship, with specific reference to Kiefer’s painting. I will show that what connects Wagner with Kiefer is an aspiration to borderless-ness, between art and society on the one hand and between the individual arts on the other. I will also show, however, that these are aspects of a single underlying connection, the legacy of the Counter-Enlightenment. My conclusion will be that a case can be made that Kiefer’s work constitutes the continuation into the twenty-first century of principal themes embodied in the Gesamtkunstwerk, but that these same themes are not antithetical to modernism.
Supervisor: Shaw-Miller, Simon Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available