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Monumental Attack: The Visual Tools of the German Counter-Monument in Two Works by Jochen Gerz and Esther Shalev-Gerz, and Horst Hoheisel
Images: A Journal of Jewish Art and Visual Culture (2016)
  • Kristine Nielsen
Abstract
This essay argues that iconoclasm serves as the visual tool of choice for Jochen Gerz and Esther Shalev-Gerz’s Memorial Against Fascism (1986) and Horst Hoheisel’s Negative Form (1987). The West German historians’ debate of the late 1980s established an image prohibition by framing the representation of the Holocaust as an unimaginable and sacred event. The Counter-Monuments rely on this ban on images. They attack monumentality and visibility as both totalitarian and capitalist characteristics, designated as such during the Cold War. The essay argues that the visual choices inherent in conceptualizing these two Counter-Monuments comprise familiar historical modes of iconoclasm in the visual arts. It questions the need to rely on iconoclasm for the contemporary memorialization of the Holocaust. 
Keywords
  • iconoclasm,
  • counter-monument,
  • memory studies,
  • memorials,
  • art history,
  • visual studies
Publication Date
Fall September, 2016
Citation Information
Kristine Nielsen. "Monumental Attack: The Visual Tools of the German Counter-Monument in Two Works by Jochen Gerz and Esther Shalev-Gerz, and Horst Hoheisel" Images: A Journal of Jewish Art and Visual Culture Vol. 9 (2016)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/kristine_nielsen/30/