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The Mortality of Roles: Johannes Baader and spiritual materialism

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The assumption of roles among figures from the early twentieth-century avant-garde, specifically figures associated with Dada, is all too often discussed in the misleading terms of deliberate attempts at synthesising roles. Attempting to understand such a figure as the Berlin Oberdada Johannes Baader, however, demands both a critique of and departure from any notion of him as a synthesiser of roles; any role that Baader assumed became useful to him only in its assumption of relationships to other roles, and in certain key instances in its equation with other roles. This essay develops a study of Baader that not so much collapses distinction between the roles of architect, artist and God, as to preserve the distinction of each in order to work through the others. Whilst maintaining the overarching and pivotal identity of Architekt Baader, Johannes Baader could maximise his application of a conceptual model for the reformulation of all dimensions of cultural activity and reorganisation of cultural mechanics. The effect, as argued in this essay, was not to provide a synthesis of truths but to constitute Baader's truth in the disclosure of culture.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 15, 2006

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