The work Philotas is an examination of the contradictoriness of German patriotism. It tries to make this ambivalence perceptible through a banner, as they are known from sport stadiums, but have also been used to demonstrate the power of military or state. In addition to the demonstration of unity, the mechanism of such choreographies also contributes to establishing the identity of the participants.
The work is named after a piece written by Lessing in 1759 in which the protagonist Philotas dies as a martyr for his fatherland. Lessing firmly rejected Philotas’ attitude.
For years, Germans have demanded a “healthy patriotism”. I wonder if there can be any such thing at all, because all the fragments are closely linked and lead to exclusionary ideologies.
acknowledgement: Susanne M. Winterling, Nickolai Straub, Deborah Nerlich, Stephan von Ploetz, Max Brück