Die kalifornische Institution
Fernwestliche Weltbilder um 1906Dissertationen der Staatlichen Hochschule für Gestaltung Karlsruhe
In April 1906, Arnold Genthe takes a series of photographs of a San Francisco ravaged by earthquake and fires. While his images remain ubiquitous documents of this disaster, Genthe himself is all but forgotten today, the dreamlike, blurry portraits and expressionist dancers that make up most of this once-famous artist’s oeuvre having no place in the canon established by later avant-garde photographers. This book takes Genthe’s most popular images of the 1906 disaster as the starting point for a discussion of the aesthetic, epistemological and sociopolitical conflicts that shaped the various world-views in the Far West at the turn of the century.
Jacob Birken researches and writes on questions of history, historicity, and their representation in arts and popular culture. As a curator and docent, he worked for various institutions including the ZKM Karlsruhe, Heidelberg University, and the Kunsthochschule Kassel.