A Realism of Protest: Christoph Schlingensief's Television Experiments

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Journal Article
The Germanic Review: Literature, Culture, Theory, 2012, 87 (4), pp. 325 - 344
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This article focuses on three groundbreaking, politically engaged reality television experiments produced by German artist Christoph Schlingensief: Bitte liebt O¨ sterreich (2000), Freakstars 3000 (2002), and Quiz 3000 (2002). Although only Freakstars 3000 took on the form of a television program, each of the productions is closely modeled on a reality television format that was popular in Germany and elsewhere at the time. Drawing on Alexander Kluge and Oskar Negtâs writings on the public sphere, and through an examination of Klugeâs conception of the task of a realistic method, this article draws out some important points of contact between Klugeâs delineation of an active public sphere and Schlingensiefâs television experiments. In doing so, it also provides a context in which Klugeâs very apt description of Schlingensief as a âpublic sphere generatorâ (O¨ ffentlichkeitsmacher) can be illuminated and explored.
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