Maria Muhle: Aesthetic realism, fictional documents and subjectivation. Alexander Medwedkin. The Medwedkin Groups. Chris Marker

Alexander Medvedkin

Alexander Medwedkin, Happiness, still from film, 99′, 1934.

In a well-known discussion between Michel Foucault and Gilles Deleuze from 1972 on the relationship between intellectuals and power, Foucault states that the intellectual’s traditional task has been at once to say the truth to those who didn’t see it yet and in the name of those who were not able to say it.[1] Consequently “conscience and eloquence” were the traditional characteristics of the politicized intellectual. Against this characterization, Foucault argues that a change has happened in “the latest resurgence”: the “intellectuals realize that the masses can do without them and still be knowledgeable: the masses know perfectly well what’s going on, it is perfectly clear to them, they even know better than the intellectuals do, and they say so convincingly enough”.[2] Yet this political knowledge and discourse of the masses is confronted with a system of power that permeates the whole network of society and whose aim is “to bar, prohibit, invalidate their discourse and their knowledge”.[3] The traditional figure of the intellectual as agent of ‘consciousness’ and discourse is, following Foucault, an element of this system of power. Consequently, he concludes, “the role of the intellectual is no longer to situate himself ‘slightly ahead’ or slightly ‘to one side’ so he may speak the silent truth of each and all; it is rather to struggle against those forms of power where he is both instrument and object in the order of ‘knowledge’, ‘truth’, ‘consciousness,’ and ‘discourse’.”[4]

This is why, argues Foucault, theory does not “express, translate or apply” a praxis, but is itself a praxis, a local and regional, non-totalizing praxis. It is thus no longer a matter of struggle for a prise de conscience, but a “struggle to undermine and take power side by side with those who are fighting”.[5] In what follows, Deleuze gives Foucault the credit of having been the first one to take the “indignity of speaking for others” seriously: “What I mean is, we laughed at representation, saying it was over, but we didn’t follow this ‘theoretical’ conversion through—namely, theory demanded that those involved finally have their say from a practical standpoint”.[6] As an example to this, Foucault brings up their work with the G.I.P. and the specificity of the prise de parole of the prisoners: “When the prisoners began to speak, they had their own theory of prison, punishment, and justice. What really matters is this kind of discourse against power, the counter-discourse expressed by prisoners […], and not a discourse on criminality.”[7]

1. Post-mimetic Representation

The possibility of “counter-discourses” outlined by Foucault is thus the consequence of the fact that, as Deleuze has put it, “representation was over”. Nevertheless this does not mean, as I would like to show, the end of representation as such, but the end of a specific hierarchy of representation and the subsequent availability of a certain documentary style realism to fictionalizations and stylizations. What is at stake is thus the suspension of the sorted relation between the represented reality or individuals and the images or words meant to represent them. This disrupting of the normative order of representation is twofold: it refers on the one hand to the end of the legitimacy of a critical discourse on a specific socially relevant situation, relying on the existence of a transcendent figure of an erudite or knowledgeable activist intellectual; and it highlights on the other hand a rupture with a specific hierarchical disposition of representation in the field of the aesthetics. The latter gives way to what I would like to call an “aesthetic realism”: a representation beyond the traditional hierarchies of representation that define what can be said in which register and by whom. The emancipation from the normative mimetic imperative entails a new politics of description that deposes the primacy of the narration of the great events over the description of the ordinary in its arbitrariness (and thus is inscribed in a biopolitical paradigm). Through the rupture with mimetic faithfulness, realist description becomes available to different forms of fictionalization and stylization and breaks with the strict separation between the fictional and the documentary logic. It thus discovers an “aesthetic” or excessive power of signification in the things themselves, as well as the literarity of language as its an-archic potentiality of the connection of the sensible (les sens) to signification (le sens), that blurs the univocal and harmonious distribution of places and spaces according to capacities and actions.What is at stake in the forms of aesthetic realism is thus the constitution of a political stage, i.e. a stage or space of appearance for bodies to be seen and discourses to be heard.

This construction of a new political stage is strictly opposed to the assumption of a binary division between those who have knowledge and thus are conscious of their conditions and those who have neither knowledge nor consciousness, and depend therefore on the transmission of knowledge and the unveiling of the ideological structures their life is entrapped in. The political action can not aim at illuminating those who don’t know or occupying the speaker’s position to represent them, but at constructing a place of sensible appearance for those who traditionally, that is ‘naturally’, are not to be part of public life and thus of the construction of the common. This is what Jacques Rancière has characterised in terms of a distribution or redistribution of the sensible, i.e. of the common spatial and temporal conditions that permit or bar the active partaking in the construction of a common. For Rancière, this political redistribution of the places, voices and times relies on the actualization of what he calls an “axiomatic equality”: “the equality of intelligences that remains the more intempestive thought that one can nourish on social order”.[8] In The Disagreement, Rancière refers to this gesture as a figure of subjectivation which he understands as a “disidentification, a removal from the naturalness of a place, the opening up of a subject space where anyone can be counted since it is the space where those of no account are counted, where a connection is made between having a part and having no part”.[9] The opposite of subjectivation is thus identification, that is, the police activity of assigning every body its ‘natural’ place and function. To corrode the implementation of this ‘natural’ order, the subjectivation “repartitions the field of experience that gave to each other their identity with their lot”.[10] Politics is thought of as the historical aprioristic conditions of the “perceptible organization” of the common – that is, as a space of appearance, a stage where a discourse and a visibility are possible – a stage that the police logic of inequality aims to prevent.

This notion of politics correlates to an aesthetic that I would like to spell out in the terms of an “aesthetic realism”. This is to be understood as a form of realism that is not defined by the imperative of mimetic representation or resemblance, but by a “new politics of representation” whose precondition is the assumption of the end of the hierarchies of representation (in Rancière’s terms), or the end of the “rule of the separation of styles” (Stiltrennungsregel), following Erich Auerbach in his book Mimesis. This rule states that “the realist description of the everyday is incompatible with the sublime or serious representation, and only finds its place in the comical, at best, when it is accurately stylized, in the idyllic”.[11] This debate is decisive for the aesthetical-political question of representation insofar as Auerbach, in the first chapter of Mimesis, lays out two perspectives on realist depiction, what he calls the “Homeric realism” and the realist descriptions in the Old Testament. While none of them falls strictly under the rule of separation of styles that will become clear in Greek tragedy and prevail, according to Auerbach, until the 19th century, the Homeric realism already contains its development, and the Old Testament announces its ruin. Even though the realist description of the everyday has a place in the Homeric poem, it does not bear any meaning or impact: it only serves as a contrast for the “great and sublime events” that take place exclusively among the heroic characters. The Homeric realism remains in a mostly idyllic and peaceful, and thus inoffensive register and does not threaten the division between the great events and the insignificant everyday. By contrast, the descriptions of the Old Testament prefigure the rupture with the hierarchies of representation, since the sublime, tragic and problematic is configured in the everyday and saturates it with conflicts and meaning.

Aesthetic realism thus means two things: the possibility of describing anything, the ordinary in its arbitrariness, which relies on the rupture of the hierarchies of representation, and the meaningfulness of the anonymous, the poetic truth that is to be found in the everyday. In the aesthetic realism everything is representable and every detail is meaningful, anything is accessible to anyone, and the aesthetic conventions such as the division of styles or genres are abolished. Or as Rancière writes: “There are no longer appropriate subjects for art. As Flaubert puts it, ‘Yvetot is as good as Constantinople’ and the adulteries of a farmer’s daughter are as good as those of Theseus, Oedipus or Clytemnestra. There are no longer rules of appropriateness between a particular subject and a particular form, but a general availability of all subjects for any artistic form whatsoever”[12].The forms of aesthetic realism thus define a specific politics of description that on the one hand is a neutral, documentary description of the everyday that however does not feature any explicative or psychological moments and that on the other hand suspends the traditional separation between fiction and fact, fictional and documentary logic and is thus available for stylizations and fictionalizations.

In the following, I would like to have a closer look at this twofold logic through by considering the continuities and discontinuities between two films: Chris Marker’s A bientôt, j’espère from 1967-68 that is inscribed in the traditional separation between fiction and documentary and features a documentary style that relies on the explicative voice-over of the filmmaker, on the one hand, and Classe de lutte from 1968, a collective film project by the Medwedkin Group constituted by the workers of Besançon that interrupts this position of the filmmaker as author and the subsequent objectivation of the workers.

2. A “new” culture

In March 1967, Pol Cèbe and other members of the Centre Culturel Populaire de Palente-les-Orchamps (CCPPO) invited the Parisian filmmaker Chris Marker to follow the strike and the occupation of the production plant of Rhodiacéta, a textile branch of Rhône-Poulenc in Besançon – capitale de l’horlogerie. In collaboration with Mario Marret and the workers of Rhodiacéta, Marker produced the film A bientôt, j’espère, which documents the ongoing social movements. The film comments on the strike in February and March 1967 at Rhodiacéta that was being ignored by the general media. It specifies the fact that it is the first occupation of a factory since 1936; it comments on its extended duration: it lasted for 26 days from Feb. 25th to Mar. 24th 1967; and the fact that it spread quickly to other units of the firm. Nonetheless A bientôt j’espère presents this strike not as a singular event, but as part of a long list of social movements and strikes, that can not be understood as an adding up of victories and defeats but as different “steps” in a struggle (des étapes d’une lutte). The film thus starts and ends with the documentation of another, less successful strike at the end of that same year. Besides these accounts, which are articulated through a rather traditional documentary style, the central interest of Marker and his film is to create a portrait of the small group of militant union activists. What the film mainly does is to give a description of their lives by listening to them, by following their discussions, their political engagement as much as their family life.

The opening scene is at once emblematic for the documentary style adopted by Marker and the “film-ouvrier”, the “worker’s film”, for which A bientôt j’espère is one of the first examples. We see one of the main actors of the social movement and of the film, Georges Maurivard, also known as Yoyo, union activist and worker at the Rhodiacéta, in front of the factory gates, trying to gather his co-workers to inform them about the dismissal of 92 workers in Lyon. It is a few days before Christmas, as the voice-over informs us, and thus months after the occupation and successful strike in February and March. The camera shows the workers leaving the factory (and gathering around the speaker) and so inevitably refers to the first scene ever shot in the history of cinema – “The Workers leaving the factory” by the Lumière brothers, a 45 second-sequence depicting workers at the photography factory in Lyon owned by the brothers themselves, hurrying out of the factory gates for lunch time. The beginning of Marker’s film thus comments at once on the construction of a political space and on a mediatic event, i.e. the birth of cinema. Harun Farocki in his documentary essay of the same title from 1995 picks up on this double aspect, when he analyzes the place in front of the factory gates as the place, where the workers become visible as a social group, before they disperse into the invisibility of their private lifes outside the factory walls. Farocki follows this visibility both throughout archive material and images from classical movies – from Chaplin’s Modern Times to Lang’s Metropolis and Pasolini’s Accatone – in order to construct the fictional image of a space, where social conflict unfolds paradigmatically, insofar as private and public times and spaces collide and their difference fade.[13]

Marker, in 1967, also chooses the factory gates as the starting point for his film, and relates this location to the very emergence of a ‘political culture’. He does so by documenting the events, by interviewing the main characters of the social movement, by giving background and practical information about the factory as well as about the threat of massive dismissals that hover over the workers. The voice-over gives the necessary clues to understand the strike and by doing so inscribes the film in a classical documentary paradigm, where the documentary images reflect reality and the voice-over explains this reality by situating it politically and historically.[14] The traditional use of interviews also remains in this paradigm when the workers answer Marker’s questions and give explanations of their situation and their way into militancy to the filmmaker and the potential viewer.

But this documentary dispositive featuring, even unintentionally, the figure of the filmmaker as author is disrupted throughout the movie by another tendency that abandons, in a figurative sense, the camera and the technical features to the workers themselves. In these moments, the filmmaker seems to become immanent to the filmed reality, and a discussion between him, the technicians and the workers emerges that takes the place of the interview and blurs the boundaries between those that represent and the represented: the camera has stopped to be perceived as technical medium that produces a binary division, and has become sort of an interlocutor. Also the use of the voice-over as a necessarily “transcendent” dispositive is diverted from the classical setting when Marker’s voice is replaced by the worker’s and activist’s own voices commenting on and explaining their own images. The whole movie is thus inhabited by a specific oscillation between a classical use of documentary skills, and the admission of the need to break with the hierarchies inscribed in these skills.

From the beginning on, we can this differentiate between several documentary strategies that co-exist within the film: a. An interview in which Yoyo answers Marker’s question about how he felt when, for the first time, he climbed onto a barrel and spoke out to the other workers (the film begins with a similar scene, not from March but from December). The interview follows the traditional exchange of questions and answers. b. Then Marker’s voice occupies the stage and comments on the images of March 1967, highlighting the originality of the strike, its length, “one month”, its form, “the occupation”, and above all, “the idea, that has been continually taken up again, that the imbalance in the working conditions translates into an imbalance in life in its totality, which could not be compensated by a salary increase”. Correspondingly, the aim of the strike is not the integration into the society of welfare but the questioning of this very form of society and civilization. That explains why its tangible result is not first of all the increase in salaries but the “education of a whole new generation of workers through social conflict”. c. Then the voice-over switches back to Yoyo’s voice explaining the solidarity that springs up between the workers, the construction of a community, the integration of the workers in the support committees, in the functioning of the library… and poses the question of culture as a “political question”. A banner shows the claims of the CCPPO: “bread for everybody, as well as freedom, laughter, theatre, life”. d. In the following sequence Pol Cèbe states that the right for culture is a political claim exactly in the same manner as the right for bread or the right for housing, even though the employers are not afraid to spell out the word culture whereas they are afraid to mention the word politics or the worker’s union.[15] What he leaves without saying but is part of the subtext is that the employers’ disregard for culture constitutes a breach in the logic of domination, since culture, in this new definition proposed by the CCPPO, fundamentally relates to the distribution of places and roles in the common. Culture has not to be understood in the Adornian sense as cultural industry or the access to mass information or entertainment; on the contrary, by claiming the right to culture, the worker claims a political right, a right to occupy a position that ‘naturally’ does not belong to him, the right to spend his time without working, with something that is not in any way connected to work or to the reproduction of his labour force – the right to “waste” his time. It thus constitutes a dissolution of the traditional distribution of capacities regarding the social occupation and place: it destabilizes the distribution of the hierarchies between the creative and the non-creative, between the active and the passive and crystallizes in the appropriation by the workers of their own representation through a form of description that abandons explanation.

The final sequence of A bientôt j’espère can be read as the summary of this oscillation that runs through the whole film between the will to produce knowledge and distribute information about the struggle of the working class in Besançon, and the will not to adopt a transcendent position in relation to the events. Following the Foucauldian approach, Marker tries to lead a “struggle side by side with those who are fighting and not off the side trying to enlighten them”[16]. But still, there is a necessary imbalance between the filmmaker and those who are filmed that Marker can not escape. In the finishing statement Yoyo addresses both of these issues: the traditional political or even pragmatic problem of the access to the media as a form of mass communication, and their politics of misinformation regarding the working class; but also and more importantly the need for self-representation of the workers as part of the working class constituted through its struggle, its solidarity and its community. This self-representation is not only articulated through the actual strikes but also through a new politics of description, an auto-description of the workers themselves. This specific form of description is what Yoyo defines, with a hesitating smile, as “culture”: The film ends where it starts, in December 67, a few days before Christmas: This time the call for the strike has only been followed by a few workers and none of the employees of the plant have been in solidarity to the strikers. “C’est fini” – this strike has been a failure, but still, it has not been a defeat for the working class. Since what we call defeats and victories only underlines the very existence of the social movement, and the young union activists “continue to learn”. They learn that a solidarity between the workers exists; they learn that there is a working class that has a power, a form of power impossible to grasp or to understand for the employers. One issue at stake is, as already mentioned, the access to the circuits of information and mass media, and the necessity to let the people know the truth about the working class, which is not the one presented by France Dimanche or Ici Paris. But the other, somehow more fundamental issue, is presented by Yoyo with a hesitating smile, when he calls the solidarity of the working class a “culture”: “Ce n’est pas de la culture ça?”.[17] This working class “culture” of solidarity and community, by definition unknown to the employers and factory owners, constitutes their power and will cause their victory in the social struggle against inequality and exploitation. What Yoyo announces here is the redefinition of the word culture in order to make it a militant word, one that describes the struggle of the working class. This is being accomplished in the shift between the two movies. From here on, “culture” is understood as the questioning of the ‘naturalness’ of things and their distribution, “culture” refers to the excess of words and images that destabilizes the apparent ‘natural’ order of domination.

3. The Logic of Auto-description

Nevertheless, À bientôt j’espère, when it was shown for the first time in the factory, was fiercely criticized by the workers themselves, who felt exploited and objectified by people that were supposed to fight this very exploitation. Out of this critique, recorded as an audio document ironically entitled La Charnière, grew the idea of the workers of the Rhodiacéta of not only participating in the films as their object but of creating and exhibiting images by the workers for the workers realizing thus a form of disidentification that could not be as easily reduced to an objectification. They thus founded the Medwedkin Group in Besançon and went on to make the film Classe de Lutte. In the following, I would like to explore the continuities but also the differences between Marker’s film and the Medwedkin Groups’ film around the central issue of the theoretical and practical claim for a “right to culture” which has to be understood not as the access to mass information or entertainment but on the contrary as a political right. And it is a political right insofar its actualization implies a dissolution of the traditional distribution of the social occupations and places: It destabilizes the distribution of the hierarchies between the creative and the non-creative, between the active and the passive, and crystallizes in the appropriation by the workers of their own representation through a form of description that abandons explanation. It thus refers back to a right to leisure in the sense of free, non-reproductive time: The right to “waste time” and to be “un-determined” as Theodor W. Adorno puts it: “Rien faire comme une bête, auf dem Wasser liegen und friedlich in den Himmel schauen, ‘sein, sonst nichts, ohne alle weitere Bestimmung und Erfüllung’.”[18]

Classe de Lutte features this new culture, understood as the questioning of the ‘naturalness’ of things and their distribution. “Culture” refers to the excess of words and images that destabilizes the apparent ‘natural’ order of domination. In this sense the passing over of the technical support, i.e. of the camera, the cutting tables or the lighting from the hands of the militant filmmakers to the hands of the filmmaking workers is to be understood as a political gesture, as a gesture of militancy and of subjectivation in the Rancièrian sense, that is, as a gesture of disidentification: The camera follows a young woman, Suzanne Zedet, a worker in the Yéma watch-making factory who has already appeared in À bientôt j’espère,but only now has come to emancipate herself both as a militant activist and as a woman. While in the 1967 film her husband was literally speaking for her, she has now become an active participant within the social movements at Yéma. On the one hand, the collage of images mixes private and public scenes and spaces, factory and family life, suggesting the difficulty in separating the two realms. On the other, it is made out of images of the production and distribution of images: The technical support invades the framing and is exposed in the film, and thus refers, in a Brechtian way, to the artificiality of the actual situation. A banner on the wall of what seems to be the film studio underlines that film is not magic, that it is a technique in the service of the liberation of the workers. Following the figure of Suzanne the film shows the development of a militant culture understood as the self-description of the working class through the production of their counter-discourses and their counter-images.[19]

This also has consequences for a reflection on the film as a medium, which is no longer understood as a medium of representation (not even documentary representation), but as an instrument that promotes the struggle of the workers – not by being a medium of communication but by rendering unstable the effective partitions and distributions. This argument is taken up again at the very end of the film in a less striking but not less effective manner: Suzanne, whose story the film has told us, abandons her identity as a militant worker, and instead gives detailed and erudite statements about Picasso and modern art, i.e. she disidentifies herself with her role as a militant worker, that the film has constructed until then, and adopts the role of the art critic, which should “naturally” – i.e. in her natural role as a woman and a worker – not be accessible to her.

The shift from A bientôt j’espère to Classe de lutte is also remarkably led by a change in the filmic language, which stops using the traditional documentary features such as the interview or the voice-over, and by doing so develops in Classe de lutte what was already present though not fully accomplished in Marker’s film: Even though A bientôt j’espère is an instrument of description of the ordinary and thus a rupture with the hierarchies of representation, Marker’s arrangement of images is still subjected to a logic of explanation that necessarily produces a discourse “about” the working class. On the contrary, the Medwedkin Group uses the film as an instrument of auto-description of the working class by the working class, as an instrument of the constitution of their culture.

The film is thus neither a commentary on the workers’ struggles or their emancipation nor an explanation of its inner mechanisms or an exercise of contextualization. It doesn’t follow an explanatory logic, but strings together self-reflecting images on the production of images and images that describe Suzanne’s life as a militant working woman. Nevertheless this new construction of Suzanne’s identity is itself undermined both in form and content: Through the fictional dimension that is reflected throughout the movements of the camera, the images, the music and the presentation of Suzanne as the main character of her own story; and through Suzanne’s disidentifying move, switching from the working woman to the militant worker and from there to the art critic. This way, the disidentifying gesture of the workers, who take the filming in their own hands, is reflected in the film itself. The production of an identity, that the film documents in a first step, is undermined precisely because Classe de Lutte – in opposition to À bientôt j’espère – does not represent a specific situation and its explanation; on the contrary, through the exposition of representation as representation and the possibility of redistributing spaces and times, Classe de Lutte points at a situation always potentially different to the current one.

Classe de lutte thus tells the story of Suzanne by arranging images, music and voices that speak for themselves and unfold their own signification, without following an explicative logic. The film and its images do not ‘comment on’ or ‘give reasons for’ the emancipation of the working class; instead, their very existence is a movement of subjectivation understood as Suzanne’s disidentification with the role of a working, speechless and thus both unrepresentable and inactive woman. Classe de Lutte constitutes a new political stage understood as the realization of the collapse of a certain normative distribution of the roles and places within the sensible by which the workers work, the intellectuals think and the filmmakers make films. The film also avoids any transcendent voice, and thus participates in the new ‘culture or politics of self-description’ that breaks both with the hierarchies of traditional narrative representation and the traditional position of the intellectual speaking for others.

It is thus a form of aesthetic realism since aesthetic realism understood as an immanent representation does not aim at being a ‘better’ representation, but at the collapsing of the hierarchies of representation. Therefore it maintains the uncertainty of the distinction between documentary and fictional representation. The forms of aesthetic realism, as post-representative forms, do not show a reality “as it really is”, but rather refer to the impossibility of doing so. However, this impossibility does not give way to the end of representation, but to a new politics of representation: to an aesthetic, i.e. post-representative politics of representation. The challenge of the notion of aesthetic realism therefore is that it points to both the impossible existence of an objective image and of an objective reality: Because reality and images are always negotiated and configured anew in the struggle between different strategies of distribution of roles and spaces or of different partitions of the sensible.


[1] Michel Foucault/Gilles Deleuze: “Les Intellectuels et le pouvoir”, Dits et Ecrits I, p. 1176 (not translated in the English version).

[2] Michel Foucault/Gilles Deleuze: “Intellectuals and power”, in: Gilles Deleuze: Desert Islands and other texts, New York: Semiotext(e) 2004, p. 207.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Ibid., p. 208.

[6] Ibid.

[7] Ibid.

[8] Jacques Rancière, La parole ouvrière, Paris, La Fabrique 2007.

[9] Jacques Rancière, The Disagreement,University of Minnesota Press, p. 36.

[10] Ibid., p. 40.

[11] Erich Auerbach, Mimesis. Dargestellte Wirklichkeit in der abendländischen Literatur, Tübingen/Basel: Francke Verlag 2001, p. 25. (English edition: Mimesis. The Representation of Reality in Western Literature, Princeton University Press 2003.)

[12] Jacques Rancière, “Are some things representable ?”, in: The Future of the image, Verso 2007, p. 118.

[13] Harun Farocki: Arbeiter verlassen die Fabrik (D 1995).

[14] Bill Nichols speaks in this context of a „Voice-of-God commentary“, that characterizes the expository documentary. This moralizing trait will then disappear in the observational documentary that seems to adopt – thanks to mobile and unremarkable cameras and technical equipment – a neutral observer position. Both are opposed to the interactive and reflexive documentary whose aim is „to make the conventions of representation themselves more apparent and to challenge the impression of reality which the other three modes normally conveyed unproblematically“. (Bill Nichols, Representing Reality, Indiana University Press 1991, p. 33.)

[15] Chris Marker: A bientôt j’espère (F 1967/1968), [3’38-6’20].

[16] Michel Foucault/Gilles Deleuze: “Intellectuals and power”, op.cit., p. 207.

[17] Chris Marker: A bientôt j’espère (F 1967/1968), [41’50-44’04].

[18] Theodor W. Adorno, “Sur l’eau” in: Theodor W. Adorno, Minima Moralia. Reflexionen aus dem beschädigten Leben, Suhrkamp 1969, p. 208.

[19]Groupe Medvedkine de Besançon: Classe de Lutte (F 1968), [0’10-3’07].

Maria Muhle studied philosophy, philology, Spanish, and Political Science in Madrid and Paris from 1996 to 2003, from 2003 to 2007, and had a PhD thesis on the topic of “A genealogy of biopolitics. The concept of life in Foucault and Canguilhem “in Paris and in Frankfurt / Oder in the DFG-Graduiertenkolleg” representation, rhetoric, knowledge “. Between 2008-2012 she was Research Assistant at the Faculty of Media, Bauhaus University Weimar, 2010/11 representation of the junior professorship “Media Technology and Philosophy” at the Ruhr-University Bochum, 2012-2014 W2-Professorship of Aesthetic Theory at the Merz Akademie Stuttgart. Since 2014 she is a professor of philosophy at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich and head of the project “lesser mimesis” of the DFG research group “Media and Mimesis”