Die Leere des Politischen: Null-Texte zwischen Performance und Demonstration

Hauptsächlicher Artikelinhalt

Mikhail Pavlovets


The Political Void: ‘Zero Text’ at the Intersection of Performance and Demonstration

This article defines the ‘zero text’ as a text that is completely absent(ed) and is replaced by its own paratext. Such a text is a pure statement, the content of which is constituted by its context, presentation, and authorship (or performance), as well as the form of the ‘zero text’ itself. The political potential of the ‘zero text’ under an authoritarian regime becomes apparent, for instance, in the famous joke about Rabinovich handing out blank pamphlets in Red Square, but it can also be seen in the literalization of folkloric motifs in a number of protest demonstrations in post-Soviet Russia. The origin of these demonstrations can be traced to ‘zero texts’ used in the poetic avant-garde (“Poem of the End” by Vasilisk Gnedov, for example) and in neo- or post-avant-garde practices from the second half of the 20th century – in particular, those associated with names like Alexander Kondratov and Dmitriy A. Prigov, whose work actualized the political semantics of the ‘missing text.’


Pavlovets, M. 2023. Die Leere des Politischen: Null-Texte zwischen Performance und Demonstration. Internationale Zeitschrift für Kulturkomparatistik. 10 (2023), 237–251. DOI: https://doi.org/10.25353/ubtr-izfk-5ee2-86f4.