Do Facebook da Nina Power
My apologies, I don’t have the patience to work through the 90 minute long video, but is the objection here that you discussed ways to reclaim Death in June’s symbols against its right-wing/Nazi appropriation? And that such artworks/symbols, in their tension, are a potent site for thinking-through art/politics? I mean, for The Wire to object to exploring such terrain actually forecloses leftist critique and hands over such visual languages *to* the far right (!). The Wire should know this isn’t a new argument — we might even return to Benjamin’s closing lines from Work of Art:
“[Humanity’s] self-alienation has reached the point where it can experience its own annihilation as a supreme aesthetic pleasure. Such is the aestheticizing of politics, as practiced by fascism. Communism replies by politicizing art.”
— but I’m also thinking of Zizek, who makes a similar case for Rammstein and Laibach, and if this argument cannot be made, it condemns all of industrial music, particularly Throbbing Gristle, for example (who reappropriated the SS lightning bolts…). Here’s Zizek:
“The German hard rock band Rammstein are often accused of flirting, playing with the Nazi militaristic iconography. But if one observes closely their show, one can see very nicely what they are doing. Exemplarily in one of their best known songs ‘Reise Reise’. … The minimal elements of the Nazi ideology – enacted by ‘Rammstein’ are something like pure elements of libidinal investment. Enjoyment has to be, as it were, condensed in some minimal tics: gestures which do not have any precise ideological meaning. What ‘Rammstein’ does is it liberates these elements from their Nazi articulations. It allows us to enjoy them in their pre-ideological state. The way to fight Nazism is to enjoy these elements, ridiculous as they may appear, by suspending the Nazi horizon of meaning. This way you undermine Nazism from within.”
And the structural argument, from his essay on Laibach, from 1993: “[Laibach’s fascista imagery etc] ‘frustrates’ the system (the ruling ideology) precisely insofar as it is not its ironic imitation, but overidentification with it.”
I am curious Nina if this is more-or-less your take, here. There is an observable *conservative* shift among the left, a renewed striving for purges and purity, operating in a “pre-critical” mode (as someone noted above), that only demonstrates *fear* of tackling the right, fear of ex-appropriating (to use Derrida’s term) its appropriation of Indo-European visual and symbolic languages — possibly because of a resurrection of leftist essentialism in its critique of white supremacy that conflates fascism with european/pagan culture(s). Such a conflation hands the right precisely what they want: total ownership and control over historical legacies, Indo-European symbolic and visual languages, and a reframing of history and symbol on essentialist grounds, which are the very grounds of fascism.