Ute Holl

Dream, Clouds, Off, Exile

Veröffentlicht am 22.04.2017

In 1844, in the Rue Vanneau no. 22 in the 7th arrondissement of Paris, a journal was founded of which only a single edition was published, a double edition nonetheless, of 237 pages: the Franco-German Yearbooks, edited by Arnold Ruge and Karl Marx. It includes the letter from Marx to Ruge with the famous formulation: “It will then become plain that the world has long since dreamed of something of which it needs only to become conscious for it to possess it in reality.”1 What is this dream? What kind of dream? What consciousness? What possession? And how should people intervene in a world that appropriates their own consciousness?

On September 24, 1918 Arnold Schoenberg began to keep a “War-Clouds Diary.”2 At a moment of indeterminate danger, of an irritation suspending all known parameters of knowledge, he begins to observe, to draw, and to record whatever he can discern in the sky. In the “War-Clouds Diary” he seeks words, images, metaphors for the looming catastrophe that will later be named and numbered as the First World War. Schoenberg developed the form on the way into exile.

In 2014 Jean-Marie Straub put together the film Kommunisten as a counterpoint of sequences from older films he had shot together with Danièle Huillet. The film is the “discovery of the communist sensibility,” says Straub, and later in the same discussion, “an investigation of the communist soul.” Love stories, relationships were also influenced by communism, “this thing people are still waiting for.”3 What kind of thing? And what waiting? What is this unclear object of knowledge that keeps open the historical process against the obvious inhumanity of capitalism, according to Straub’s diagnosis?

In 1843 Marx went into exile in Paris. From Kreuznach he wrote to Ruge about the yearbook project: “Our enterprise may or may not come about, but in any event I shall be in Paris by the end of the month as the very air here turns one into a serf and I can see no opening for free activity in Germany.”4 In France, however, there was “press freedom,”5 the precondition for any emancipation. The Franco-German Yearbooks, in which Heinrich Heine also has a poem, are concerned with the general situation of people in Europe, with industrialization, rural...

  • Karl Marx
  • Film
  • Exil
  • Monotheismus
  • Kommunismus

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Ute Holl

Ute Holl

ist Professorin für Medienwissenschaft an der Universität Basel. Zu ihren Forschungsschwerpunkten gehören Medienästhetik und Wahrnehmungstheorien, mediale Anthropologie und experimentelles Kino, sowie Kinosound und Elektroakustik. Sie ist Autorin mehrerer Bücher.

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