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Doświadczenie żołnierza. Estetyczne i polityczne ramy nowoczesności

Dorota Sajewska

Soldier’s Experience. Aesthetic and Political Frames of Modernist Paradigm

As a point of departure for the analysis of the “soldier’s experience”, the author proposes Walter Benjamin’s distinction between the concepts of Erfahrung und Erlebnis. The German philosopher regarded this distinction as a symptom of the fundamental transformation of individual and collective perception, which occurred under the influence of the Great War. Therefore, the article analyses the soldier’s body – above all its visual representations. The author examines ideological aspects of the visual framing of “precarious life” – both in archival documents (on the basis of photographs from field hospitals, photo albums, films from military and medical archives), as well as in purely artistic forms (projections, films, and photomontages used in the experimental political theatre of a former WWI soldier – Erwin Piscator).