Roland [X] Superheld – zur möglichen Beziehung von Kunstwissenschaft und politischer Bildung am Beispiel der Sex/Gender-Thematik


  • Sebastian Schädler



Sebastian Schädler

Roland [X] Superhero. Towards a New Relationship between Art Scholarship and Concepts of Political Education though the Example of the Topic of Sex/Gender

This text focuses on the figure of the Bremen Roland in two respects: Firstly in relation to the discussion of masculinity as a cultural construction, in which one specific hegemonic model is always based on the exclusion of others. Thus Roland is compared and contrasted to other representations of masculinity, such as Saint Sebastian and Muhammad Ali, and the possibilities are explored of using the theme of “superheroes” to educate children on the topic of sex/gender stereotypes. From another point of view, Roland is discussed as a research subject in art scholarship. Here we discuss the potential of a scholarly approach that does not reduce an “image” or “sign” such as Roland to mere “facts” about the historical context or its function(s) in specific cultural formations of masculinity. Since these perspectives never seem to converge, there has been little interest in drawing a relationship between them. Adapting a proposal by W.J.T. Mitchell, the possibilities of such a relationship are revealed through the performance of an encounter. The slash “/” in this text is chosen as a sign that opens up the space that such an encounter creates. Referring to the different points of view, the slash changes: first it becomes a backslash “\”, then it is combined to form “\/” and “/\”, as are used in computer languages, and finally it is converted into an [X]. The new relationship – as a proposal for further discussion – can be written as: art scholarship [X] political education.