Between Renunciation and Role Model: The morphology, History and Aesthetic of the Western Asceticism
With his controversial term “aesthetic of existence” Michel Foucault presented in the final phase of his work a number of subjectivication techniques which had the goal of bringing about a profound change, conversion and transformation in the subject. According to this theory, the subject employs certain gestures and practices to give their own life form, as if it were a work of art. This attitude is often described as ‘solipsistic’ or even as politically suspect. Is the “aesthetic of existence” a late manifestation of a dandyish attitude? Is such a position compatible with political action? The project reconstructs a ‘morphological cultural history’ of asceticism by systematically analyzing paradigmatic practices, groups and actors who realized this “aesthetic of existence” in a political and/or antagonistic manner. This 'morphological cultural history' traces the most important stages of asceticism in Occidental history.
Antonio Lucci is currently a project fellow at the Hannover Institute for Philosophical Research. He was assistant professor for “Cultural Theory and Aesthetics in the Context of Cultural Studies” at the Humboldt University of Berlin in the summer semester of 2016 and the winter semester of 2017/18. Before this he was a research fellow at the Institute for Cultural Studies at the Humboldt University, a post-doc researcher at the Excellence Cluster Topoi and lecturer for media aesthetics at the New Academy of Art Milan. His current areas of research are, amongst others, the methodology of cultural history, post-humanism, the cultural theory and history of asceticism and the history of Italian philosophy and cultural studies. He is currently writing his habilitation thesis “Asceticism as a Subjectivation Strategy” at the Humboldt University of Berlin’s Institute for Cultural Studies.
Publikationen (u. a.): gem. mit Thomas Skowronek (Hg.), Potenzial regieren. Zur Genealogie des möglichen Menschen, Paderborn 2018 (im Druck); gem. mit Andrea Borsari (Hg.), How to do Things with Cultures?, (= Azimuth 8, 2016, Heft 5); Un’acrobatica del pensiero. La filosofia dell’esercizio di Peter Sloterdijk, Rom 2014.
Wenn man an Gartenzwerge denkt, fallen einem unmittelbar sympathische (und kitschige) Gestalten ein, die man mit Märchen und Gartenhäusern in Verbindung bringt. Was wäre aber, wenn diese Figuren eine noch viel engere Verwandtschaft mit den Hauptvertretern der christlich-asketischen Tradition – wie Eremiten und Anachoreten – hätten?