"Überwachung ist Macht. Zur Mythifizierung von Überwachung in der Gegenwartskunst."
The article uses contemporary artworks by Florian Mehnert (Waldprotokolle ), Paolo Cirio (Street Ghosts [2012–2017]) and the artists’ collective ‘Center for Political Beauty’ (Holocaust Memorial Bornhagen ) to show how ‘narratives of surveillance’ change in art. Surveillance can be semantically functionalized as ‘power’, as the art action Holocaust Memorial Bornhagen by the Center for Political Beauty shows. This functionalization of surveillance as power stems from culturally established phobic narratives. In this context, the symbolic representation of surveillance is repeatedly charged with meaning, which can be assigned to the semantic field of power. This results in a ‘mythification’ of surveillance in the sense of Roland Barthes, in which original semantics such as state surveillance, security or freedom are eliminated.