The discourse of counter-monuments: semiotics of material commemoration in contemporary urban spaces
AbstractThis article analyses strategies of material commemoration in contemporary urban spaces. Deploying a philosophical and social-theoretical interpretation systematised by, in particular, Multimodal Critical Discourse Studies and its analysis of material commemoration, the article compares the semiotics of modes of commemorating through monuments and counter-monuments. As is argued, counter-monumental commemoration aligns much better than the traditionally static and non-dialogic monuments with the ongoing post-modern transformation and fluidity of contemporary urban spaces. By the same token, counter-monuments also allow commemoration of complex and difficult past events – such as the Holocaust – that are traditionally surrounded by multiple interpretations and often-conflicting attempts to commemorate them. The analysis at the core of the paper looks in-depth at counter-monumental installations known as Stolpersteine, or Stumbling Blocks, developed since the early 1990s by the German artist Gunter Demnig as a form of commemoration of victims of National Socialism and especially the Holocaust. As is suggested, counter-monuments such as the Stolpersteine carry multiple meanings and have multiple functions which allow for diverse patterns of interaction with past/present. They also allow embedding the dialogue between forms of commemoration (monument/counter-monument) various recipients (locals/tourists, spectators/passers-by) as well as their varied interpretations and expectations of commemoration in the discourse of contemporary urban space.
|Journal series||Social Semiotics, ISSN 1035-0330, (A 20 pkt)|
|Publication size in sheets||1|
|Keywords in English||Counter-monuments, monuments, collective memory, commemoration, remembrance, urban space|
|ASJC Classification||; ; ;|
|Score|| = 15.0, 17-12-2019, ArticleFromJournal|
= 20.0, 17-12-2019, ArticleFromJournal
|Publication indicators||: 2016 = 1.249; : 2016 = 0.484 (2) - 2016=0.725 (5)|
|Citation count*||30 (2020-07-27)|
* presented citation count is obtained through Internet information analysis and it is close to the number calculated by the Publish or Perish system.