The Visuality of Fundamental Rights

Dani Karavan, Grundgesetz 49, 1998/2003, Jakob-Kaiser-Haus, Dorotheenblöcke, Parliament Building, Berlin, Germany

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. 

The first, emblematic, example is the installation „Grundgesetz 49“ by Dani Karavan near the Parliament and its buildings in Berlin, who engraved the 19 articles on three meter high glass panels. The transparency of the glass, that enables to see through or beyond the written text, stands for a mediation of the principles of our fundamental rights, and the importance to maintain a continuous and critical dialogue between individual case and social norms. Within the area of tension between reality and legal norms it is also a visual and aesthetic approach to normativity that has contributed to our understanding of fundamental rights. 

Carolin Behrmann and Sirin Datli


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