A joint project of the advanced courses in Art (Wagner) and English (Hollmann) 

Who am I, who are we, who do I want to be, who do we want to be? 

These questions are without doubt among the most important ones for any human being, for any society. Therefore, it is no surprise that they are frequently treated in music, literature, philosophy, religion, and, of course, art. 

When one does not focus on individuals, but societies, these questions automatically touch upon shared values of ideals of these societies. This becomes even more clear when one examines the US, which is on the one hand the culturally most significant society of the modern era (there are countless examples in music, film, television, literature, and art; not to mention technology and the sciences), but on the other hand stands out with its exuberant and overwhelming patriotism. 

But before one judges, one needs to understand: what is America? Why is it glorified, sung, explained, experienced, painted? What does it stand for, and what does it want to stand for? And isn’t the (self-) representation of the US automatically applicable to the West, the entire Global North, whether we want it or not? 

The advanced courses in Art and English have explored these questions in the last few weeks and have, using a few select examples, examined, commented, and contextualized the (self-)representation of the US, before creating individual creative works based on the mentioned examples. On this page, you can find the pieces of art and audio guides compiled by small groups made up of students from both courses. Come see the creative products on the first floor! 

Picture 1: Thomas Cole: The Oxbow (The Connecticut River near Northampton), 1836, Öl auf Leinwand, 130.8 × 193 cm, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York 

Picture 2: Emanuel Leutze: Washington Crossing the Delaware, 1851, Öl auf Leinwand, 378,5 × 647,7 cm, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York 
Picture 3: Grant Wood: American Gothic, 1930, Öl auf Holzfaserplatte, 76 × 63,3 cm, Art Institute of Chicago 
Picture 4: Diego Rivera: Detroit Industry Murals, 1932-33, Fresco, Detroit Institute of Art 
Picture 5: Edward Hopper: Nighthawks, 1942, Öl auf Leinwand, 84,1 x 152,4 cm, Art Institute of Chicago 
Picture 6: David Hockney: A bigger Splash, 1967, Acryl auf Leinwand, 242,5 x 243,9 cm, Tate Britain, London 
Picture 7: Duane Hanson: Young Shopper, 1973, lebensgroß, Polyester und Fiberglas, farbig bemalt, London 
Picture 8: Kehinde Wiley: Barack Obama, 2018, Öl auf Leinwand, 213,7 x 147 cm, National Portrait Gallery, Washington 

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