A seminar towards Roland Barthes with Vanessa Joan Müller
The French philosopher and semiotician Roland Barthes dedicated his first lecture at the Collège de France to living together. “Fantasmically speaking, there’s nothing contradictory about wanting to live alone and wanting to live together,” – that is the utopia, he follows up when he is reading about various spaces in novels.
The hotel in “Zauberberg” by Thomas Mann, the hiding place of Robinson Crusoe: the bedroom and house turn into exemplary places, in which living together in the group doesn’t exclude the freedom of the individual. The interest of Barthes is directed towards the preservation of sovereignty of the subject in the midst of communality.
The topicality of “how to live together?” will be discussed based on selected works from the exhibition How To Live Together, but also examples of the study by Barthes will be consulted.
In addition, the seminar is an introduction to the thinking of one of the most prominent representatives of the structuralist semiotics, who sees the world as a system of signs and distributes social sensitivities and political ideologies from seemingly everyday observations.