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Black Performance on the Outskirts of the LeftA History of the Impossible$
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Malik Gaines

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781479837038

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479837038.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM NYU Press SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.nyu.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of NYU Press Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NYSO for personal use.date: 18 October 2019

The Radical Ambivalence of Günther Kaufmann

The Radical Ambivalence of Günther Kaufmann

Chapter:
(p.95) 3 The Radical Ambivalence of Günther Kaufmann
Source:
Black Performance on the Outskirts of the Left
Author(s):

Malik Gaines

Publisher:
NYU Press
DOI:10.18574/nyu/9781479837038.003.0004

Within the oeuvre of German film, theater, and television director Rainer Werner Fassbinder, the actor Günther Kaufmann typically played roles that radicalized his Afro-German body. The development of Fassbinder’s style through a history of political theater and the generational perspective of the late sixties helped construct a deeply critical presentation of difference, complicated by class, gender, race, sexuality, and provincial location, that unsettled the representation of a post-war West German order and its capitalist successes. Kaufmann problematized representation in a series of Fassbinder’s early productions, often through sexualized, violent, and campy portrayals that exceed both the Marxist and psychoanalytic readings often applied to Fassbinder’s work. Kaufmann’s unresolvable presence articulates a radical ambivalence that is critically effective if politically untidy.

Keywords:   ambivalence, radical, camp, Günther Kaufmann, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, film, theater, television, West Germany, Afro-German

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