United States Holocaust Museums: Pathos, Possession, Patriotism
American holocaust museums seem to challenge spaces between memory and its direction, vision and revision. Within the gruesome context of holocaust portrayal, interrogate the valences of memory’s play and expose American holocaust museums as theatres of pornographic memory. The seduction of feeling does not invite change so much as purgation, what Aristotle identified as catharsis — an emotional and physical release, unfortunately replicating the seductive techniques used by Goebbels for the glorification of Hitler. Through manipulation of viewers as automatic audiences, these museums function as centres for pathos I question the policy and polity of presenting genocide as an entertainment leading to catharsis, recognizing that the final act of purgation is all too easily negation.
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