What are we to make of art that presents itself in opposition to culture? German art of the 20th century compels us to reckon with that question. The first part of this course will do so through close readings of literary and philosophical texts from Nietzsche to Beckett. Our approach to reading will be collaborative and experimental. The second part of the course will pursue a case study of the multimedia art of Hanne Darboven (1941-2009), which we will explore in person at Dia in New York City, in the collections of the Art Museum and Marquand Library, and in conversation with contemporary artists to whom Darboven’s work has been important.