Date of Degree
PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)
First Committee Member
Second Committee Member
Robert Odell Bork
Third Committee Member
Christopher D. Roy
Fourth Committee Member
My dissertation project, Die Gruppe ZERO: Working through Wartime Trauma, analyzes the art, publications, and demonstrations of the art movement Zero. Zero’s core artists, Otto Piene, Heinz Mack, and Günther Uecker worked in West Germany and emerged as a group in West German in 1957. They worked together until they officially disbanded in 1966. My project investigates the specific historical context of Zero, which encompasses the artists’ experience of World War II, its dismal aftermath, the rise of the Wirtschaftswunder (Economic Miracle), and the mounting tensions of the Cold War. In between the lines of Zero manifestos, which are wildly riddled with utopian rhetoric, were the sentiments of their dark reality. Zero artists’ desire to create all-consuming visual phenomena for the observer stemmed directly from their own immersive experience on the ground during the aerial raids of World War II. Zero artists desired to erase the terrorizing charge embedded in the memory of the past and the fears of the present, through bodily experience that would give survivors a new sense of personal agency.
Germany, Gunther Uecker, Heinz Mack, Otto Piene, World War II, Zero
xxii, 381 pages
Includes bibliographical references (pages 340-381).
Copyright © 2018 Jill Michelle Holaday
Holaday, Jill Michelle. "Die Gruppe ZERO: working through wartime trauma." PhD (Doctor of Philosophy) thesis, University of Iowa, 2018.