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Paper Information

Journal:   BAGH-E NAZAR   OCTOBER 2017 , Volume 14 , Number 52; Page(s) 5 To 18.
 
Paper: 

A STUDY OF THE REPRESENTATION OF INDIVIDUAL AND COLLECTIVE TRAUMA RESULTING FROM TWO WORLD WARS IN ART WITH A LOOK AT THE WORKS OF TWO GERMAN PAINTERS

 
 
Author(s):  KHOSROSHAHIBONAB MARYAM, HESSAMI KERMANI MANSOUR
 
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Abstract: 

Since the 20th century and following the experience of two world wars and other human catastrophes, the concept of trauma, as an individual and collective phenomenon, has been widely discussed in both scientific and public spheres. Although it is difficult to determine clear boundaries for the categorization of factors causing individual and collective trauma, war can be regarded as a traumatic phenomenon and the concept of trauma resulting from war trauma can be thus advanced.
Problem Statement and Key Questions The present research focuses on the representation of individual and collective war trauma in works of art with a look at the paintings of two German artists in the years following World War I and World War II. This study aims to trace and study the interactional relationship of these works with individual and collective trauma in the cultural and social context of the post-war society in the defeated country. In fact, this study tries to answer these questions: how does the representation of individual war trauma in these paintings interact with collective trauma in the setting of the post-war society? How can the representation of collective trauma in works of art by different post-war generations be explained by Freudian and post-Freudian psychoanalytical theories.
Research Methodology To answer the research questions, first psychoanalytical theories about trauma (especially war trauma), with an emphasis on the ideas of Freud, will be discussed. In the course of the content analysis of the works of art, this psychoanalytical approach will serve as a departure point in relation to which the assessment of cultural and social conditions and the biography of the artists will be undertaken. Thus, this study shows that works of art can serve as a means of representation of the memories of individual and collective trauma. For a better understanding of the different individual and collective aspects of war trauma, two German artists from two different generations have been selected for the case study. The fact that one of them belongs to a generation that has experienced war and the other is from a generation that inherited the consequences of war from the generation of their parents, provides us with a better opportunity to study the representation of trauma as an individual or collective experience.
Research Objective The present study tries to identify the signs and features determined in psychoanalysis to diagnose trauma in the works of two German painters from the era following the two world wars as a representation of individual and collective war trauma and explain the content of these works through a psychoanalytic reading. This study provides for a better understanding of the analyzed works and develops a model for the study of the representation of war trauma in similar works in other societies and historical eras following different wars.

 
Keyword(s): INDIVIDUAL TRAUMA, COLLECTIVE TRAUMA, WORLD WARS, OTTO DIX, GEORG BASELITZ
 
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