Sprechen Sie Loewe?

Twitchin, Mischa. 2022. 'Sprechen Sie Loewe?'. In: Peter Friedl: Report 1964–2022. KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin, Germany 23 February 2022. [Conference or Workshop Item]

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Abstract or Description

Prompted by watching Peter Friedl’s film, Report (2016), my talk will offer some stray reflections on “the way of humanity” (as Kafka calls it in his satire of the human ape, A Report to an Academy) – not least, as this concerns relations between captivity and asylum, freedom and expression, art and civil rights. As many have proposed, from Aesop to Wittgenstein, the allegory of a talking animal suggests that a lack of understanding in foreign languages is not limited to what others have to say, but provides a model for a lack of self-understanding. Produced in the context of Documenta 14, what Friedl’s film offers, I would like to suggest, is an example of this mimesis of the familiar as foreign, of an ethics of speaking and understanding, which exposes not only aspects of a European “political theatre”, but an underlying culture of what the primatologist Frans de Waal has called “anthropodenial”. In dialogue with what is staged by the film, this talk will explore a European imagining of alterity – with the paradox of a medium where what is edited out makes something become visible.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Lecture)

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Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Theatre and Performance (TAP)


23 February 2022Completed

Event Location:

KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin, Germany

Date range:

23 February 2022

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Date Deposited:

28 Feb 2022 10:22

Last Modified:

28 Feb 2022 10:22



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