Visuelle Dimensionen des Antiziganismus
How to cite this chapter

Reuter, Frank: Mediale Metamorphosen, in: Reuter, Frank, Gress, Daniela and Mladenova, Radmila (Eds.): Visuelle Dimensionen des Antiziganismus, Heidelberg: Heidelberg University Publishing, 2021 (Interdisciplinary Studies in Antigypsyism – Book series initiated by the Research Centre on Antigypsyism, Vol. 2), p. 37-57. https://doi.org/10.17885/heiup.973.c12922

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ISBN 978-3-96822-054-3 (PDF)
ISBN 978-3-96822-055-0 (Softcover)
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Published 16.12.2021.


Frank Reuter

Mediale Metamorphosen

Abstract Using the example of the leitmotif of the seductive „gypsy woman“ and her erotically connotated dance, this article is devoted to media transformation processes and their role in the formation of antiziganist prejudice. With the adaptation of this motif to new forms of representation such as photography
or film, altered mechanisms of action and special aesthetic principles come into play. These inherent media logics helped determine the visibility and content of the images – and thus also their evaluation and cultural significance. At the same time, there are resonance effects, as the different media formats interact in a complex way. Accordingly, there is a close connection between the genesis of antiziganism and the development of modernity, including its technical innovations: Only by means of media reproduction can antiziganist stereotypes become socially effective. The example of the dancing „Gypsy“ shows how motifs or figures from literature find their way into visual mass media and thus become part of a differentiating image and entertainment industry, accompanied by a process of popularisation or trivialisation. The article
focuses in particular on the film Großstadt-Zigeuner (1932) by Bauhaus artist László Moholy-Nagy. The author recognises a discrepancy between innovative aesthetic form and the recourse to stereotypical patterns on the content level.