Essay

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Pluralität der Zeiten: Über Erinnerung, Zeit und Geschichte im Werk von Charles Simonds

Herbert Molderings

Published online:

22 Nov 2023

Abstract

Abstract

In the 1970s, American sculptor Charles Simonds created more than a hundred miniature settlements (Dwellings), reminiscent of the architectures of the ancient Puebloans of the American Southwest, in the dilapidated streets of SoHo and Manhattan’s Lower East Side. These Dwellings until now have been discussed exclusively in the context of Land Art and Process Art. This essay offers an alternative perspective by focusing on their character as ephemeral “sites of memory” and on the new concepts of time and history which lie at their roots. Based on the principle of pluri-temporality in history, they share remarkable similarities with concepts of time in critical anthropology and philosophy, namely Johannes Fabian’s critique of “the denial of coevalness” to ethnographic Others and the concept of “folded time” as put forth by Michel Serres.

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