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Ruins of History

nur für Incom-Mitglieder

This seminar discusses the historical development of ruin theory and traces its presence in current artistic discourses.

Since antiquity, ruins have served as a medium in various world cultures to establish a connection with the past. Although the significance of ruins has diminished in recent times, their relevance persists in contemporary forms of engaging with history. For example, within the framework of photo-theoretical discourse, one can still identify an antiquarian approach that emerged in the late 18th century in the context of historical reconstruction through ruins. The enduring importance of the ruin tradition is also evident in contemporary art, especially in the works of artists who explore themes of wartime destruction and the concept of 'heritage.'

This seminar invites you to explore ruin theory from both a historical and systematic perspective and examine its afterlife in contemporary forms of engaging with the past.

*** Dates:

– Information & Introduction: 24 November 2023, 16:00–17:30h

– First block: 8-9 December 2023

– Second block: 19-20 January 2024

*** Registration:


Theorie und Geschichte

Visuelle Kulturen

Geschichte Visueller Kulturen




Wintersemester 2023 / 2024

Erster Termin







Hörsaal, C1.05