“nomoi” is concerned with the history and life of images in legal contexts to determine their normative role, or their opposition against prevailing normative orders.


The Law is difficult to understand. It needs the glossator to explain, discuss and translate it, applying methods of marginal or interlinear annotations. Images belong to the elemental core of the body of law and the production of juridical meaning in visual terms.

The following pictorial glossaries give examples of the “ratio visiva” of the legal world, that reach from the representational to the sensual realm of legal normativity, drawing out a visual rationale from the conflicting rulings of legal texts, that belong also to what is called the “force” of law.



© Anja Niedringhaus/AP/picture alliance

The claim for universal human rights is not restricted to proclamations of international conventions. Therefore, regarding human rights as only relating to the administration of law overlooks emotional ties, affective appeals and deep-seated convictions that drive the grounds of this discourse (Sliwinski). Questions about the medium of photography and the emergence of human rights after WWII have lately strongly shaped academic discourse. Even long before images have been the subject or manifestoes of debates on universal rights of all humankind.  This “pictorial glossary” aims to present research on the role of images within the history of human rights from early modern times until today (read more).


Movement Memory                   Empathy


On the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the German Grundgesetz (Basic Law) the research group “The Nomos of Images. Manifestation and Iconology of Law” presents examples of artistic engagement with different principles that regard questions of fundamental rights, such as the right to privacy, the right to asylum, gender equality and the inviolability of human dignity. (read more)


Where does the Right to Privacy End?

Discrimination in the Museum

Who has Right to Protection and Asylum?

Standing for Freedom of Expression

Who owns these Objects and who has a Right to them?

Of Refuge and Dignity

Caricatures as a Medium of free Expression

The Obligation of Ownership

Does the Monkey have a Right to its Image?


By means of the visual formula of resistance and revolt disseminated in the media, political systems are depicted as just or unjust, democratic or undemocratic. In the “Age of Resistance”, in which we see an increase in emancipatory and civic action, such images are disseminated ubiquitously. Through the socio-technical architecture of social media they not only hold a firm place in the attention economies of the present, but also inform the formal repertoires of artists. Artists who, as activists and dissidents, point to political grievances and legal inconsistencies, define a new and diverse genre. This canonized category of “political art” responds not just to particular social and political issues. Through their socio-critical and social actions, such artists also deliberately place themselves in a changed relationship to existing law. 

The pictorial glossary “Aesthetics of Resistance” attempts to define various forms of resistance exploring the multiple aesthetics of protest. By contrasting popular strategies of political engagement and their artistic appropriation, the glossary aims at a critical analysis (read more).

About the Glossary
Henry Kaap
Carolin Behrmann
Selfie Protest
Kerstin Schankweiler
Katja Müller-Helle
Henry Kaap
Tank Man
Carolin Behrmann
fierce pussy
Susanne Huber
Gramsci Monument
(Thomas Hirschhorn)
Siri Peyer
Robert Kehl
Shaheed [شهيد]
Kerstin Schankweiler
Verena Straub
Daniel Becker
Gran Fury
Christian Liclair
Yvonne Schweizer
TV Interventions
Magdalena Nieslony
Georgios Binos
Dispersion und Accelerationismus
Antje Krause-Wahl
Virtuelles Sit-In
Daniel Becker
Der fossile Vogel
Anna-Katharina Wöbse
Tactical Media
Clemens Apprich
Alexandra Waligorski
Urban Gardening
Regina Foschiova
Formen des Umweltaktivismus seit 1970
Henning Arnecke
SilenceDeath_01 Image_04
Silence=Death Project
Christian Liclair
The Colour White: Damas de Blanco
Andreas Beer
Strijd ∞
Strijd ∞ curators
Bild 01
Suicide Bombers Video Testimonies
Verena Straub
Surveillance / Countersurveillance
Jens Kabisch
Guerilla Knitting / Yarn Bombing
Sabine Planka
Armchair Activist
Moritz Queisner
Nele De Raedt
Anne Röhl
Fig2_Occupy Berlin_12 November 2011
Silence (Aernout Mik)
Vega Tescari
Anonymity / Stealth
Toni Pape
Guy Fawkes Mask
Andreas Beer
Ruxandra Todosi
Hologram Protest
Seraphine Meya
Inflatable Objects
Artúr van Balen
Jacopo Galimberti
Duran Adam – Standing Man
Christoph Scheurle

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