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Real DeceptionsThe Contemporary Reinvention of Realism$
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Jennifer Friedlander

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190676124

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190676124.001.0001

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A Ruse for the Real

A Ruse for the Real

Christoph Schlingensief’s Deportation Installation

(p.59) Chapter 4 A Ruse for the Real
Real Deceptions

Jennifer Friedlander

Oxford University Press

This chapter analyzes “Bitte liebt Österreich” (“Please Love Austria”), the controversial public art installation created by the late German conceptual artist and provocateur Christoph Schlingensief. Schlingensief staged a variation on the reality TV show Big Brother, in which asylum seekers were housed in a structure in a public square in Vienna, Austria. Passersby were invited to cast their vote each night for which detainee should be evicted the following day. By staging his intervention as a “game” that borrowed from the familiar “reality TV” genre, Schlingensief invites us to consider the question of whether using a fictional, game-like mode of representation to describe a politically reactionary event may help to subvert it. He thus offers an important twist to the logic which undergirds the position that realistic depictions of revolutionary events can themselves be politically potent.

Keywords:   Christoph Schlingensief, “Bitte liebt Österreich” (“Please Love Austria”), radical democracy, FPÖ, refugees, Georg Lukács, Big Brother

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