Opening Lecture: Life in the Dative

von Hannes Böhringer


In his opening lecture for “Erbstücke” the philosopher Hannes Böhringer deals with fundamental questions of life in and with memory, but especially of life with oneself – between dealing and being dealt with.

“I set off, but I can’t keep pace with myself. It’s too fast. I can’t say goodbye that fast! Something has happened. The person in the dative is involved and judges in dismay. The event is objective and subjective, a date given to me: date, Latin “dare”, to give. From whom? The event exists. I receive it, so to speak – I can’t think of anything better – from chance or fate. And when I move on, it’s in my luggage as a memory. I go away, but I can’t get rid of it.”

Hannes Böhringer is a German philosopher who deals with modern and contemporary art and architecture. In numerous publications and research projects, he attempts to combine philosophical and artistic thinking. As a professor of philosophy he has worked at the Freie Universität Berlin, at the Universität/Gesamthochschule Kassel and from 1995 to 2012 at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste Braunschweig. In 2009 he was awarded the Moholy Nagy Prize of the Moholy Nagy University of Art and Design, Budapest.