Zoek in de site...

20|02|05 BoJack Horseman – Depressed Horse as Cultural Innovation? | Radboud Reflects @Stukafest by philosopher Simon Gusman

BoJack Horseman – Depressed Horse as Cultural Innovation? | Radboud Reflects @Stukafest by philosopher Simon GusmanBoJack Horseman – Depressed Horse as Cultural Innovation? | Radboud Reflects @Stukafest by philosopher Simon Gusman | Wednesday 5 February 2020 |  20:30 / 21:30 / 22:30 hrs| Groesbeekseweg 147, Nijmegen

Announcement - What happened to our cartoon heroes? They used to be happy, tenacious superheroes who defeated evil in a series of repetitive adventures. Now they’re destructive characters full of personality flaws, who leave us with more questions after every episode. Come listen to an astute cultural analysis by philosopher Simon Gusman. See full announcement text below.

Aankondiging - Wat is er gebeurd met onze tekenfilmhelden? Vroeger waren het vrolijke, lovenswaardige helden met superkrachten die het kwaad overwonnen en elke aflevering min of meer hetzelfde avontuur beleefden. Maar nu zijn het destructieve karakters met persoonlijke problemen, die je na een aflevering met nog meer vragen achterlaten dan je al had. Kom luisteren naar een scherpe cultuuranalyse van filosoof Simon Gusman. Zie de volledige aankondigingstekst onderin.

Verslag - BoJack Horseman: a Trojan Horse Filled with Philosophy

On 5 February Radboud Reflects teamed up with Stukafest Nijmegen to organize a lecture in one of the twenty student rooms throughout the city, that were opened up for the public of this festival. Visitors migrated across town all night to see bands perform, plays unfold, hear literature and poetry and experience many other cultural activities. The Radboud Reflects room was situated in the cellar of ‘het Melkhuis’, the fraternity house of Dispuut de Gong. This dimly lit dungeon filled with historical props, Erdoğan memes and pictures of Edward Snowden was the perfect setting for a lecture by Simon Gusman, who teaches Visual Culture at Radboud University.

Simon Gusman

BoJack Horseman is a popular cartoon series on Netflix, and its popularity was certainly apparent at Stukafest. Many cheers of recognition could be heard as Gusman showed various clips from the series to the audience. Through these clips Gusman drew interesting parallels between BoJack Horseman and the work of French existentialist philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre. Key themes from Sartres work are reflected in BoJack Horseman. Like the idea that we are not born with some essential identity to us – rather our actions shape who we are. “Do you think I’m a good person, deep down?”, asks BoJack in one of the clips Simon shows. “I don’t thjnk I believe in ‘deep down’. I kind of think all you are, is just the things that you do,” is Diane’s response.

Existentialists say we are individually responsible for shaping our identity, and for the way we relate to whatever circumstances we find ourselves in. Again we find strong echoes of this sentiment in BoJack Horseman, as Tod, a character from the series, lectures BoJack after one of his many misdeeds: “You are all the things that are wrong with you. It’s not the alcohol or the drugs, or any of the shitty things that happened to you in your career or when you were a kid. It’s you.” A serious scene, with – as is often the case in BoJack Horseman – a serious philosophical undertone.

Simon Gusman @Stukafest

All popular culture is filled with ideology and philosophy, even if we do not always notice it. While BoJack Horseman frequently hints at the philosophical inspiration of its writers, it was still highly informative to have Simon uncover all the philosophical thoughts to which viewers get exposed without fully noticing. The main lesson to be draw is that, as we sit back and enjoy a cartoon about talking animals, we take on board more than we may realize…

By: Frank van Caspel

Subscribe to the English e-mail newsletter and be the first to know about new programming, video's and podcasts.

Wil je op de hoogte blijven van onze activiteiten? Schrijf je dan in voor de tweewekelijkse nieuwsbrief.

Aankondiging / Announcement

BoJack Horseman – Depressed Horse as Cultural Innovation? | Radboud Reflects @Stukafest by philosopher Simon Gusman

Nederlands volgt Engels

What happened to our cartoon heroes? They used to be happy, tenacious superheroes who defeated evil in a series of repetitive adventures. Now they’re destructive characters full of personality flaws, who leave us with more questions after every episode. Come listen to an astute cultural analysis by philosopher Simon Gusman.

Bojack Horseman

BoJack Horseman, from the eponymous series, is a depressed horse. A washed up actor with one long-past hit performance, who alienates everyone around him. What kind of show is this? Using clips from BoJack Horseman, Simon Gusman explains how modern cartoon series no longer offer us what they traditionally did: adventures.

Adventures do not exist, claims Simon Gusman, and modern day popular culture seems to embrace that message. BoJack isn’t going anywhere. He is stuck in a pattern and at the end of every episode everything is worse than it was. His life knows no deeper meaning; the audience is left empty-handed.

Not entertainment, but recognition?

Does this mean that the function of these cultural expressions is changing? Are they no longer offering simple entertainment, but holding a mirror to their viewers? What do the makers of these series want to achieve, and why do they attract such a large audience?

Join us and think further about your cartoon heroes.

This lecture is in English.

About the speaker

Gusman, SimonSimon Gusman teaches Visual Culture at Radboud University. He investigates the notion of selfhood in the philosophy of Jean-Paul Sartre. He wrote Avonturen bestaan niet (Adventures do not exist) together with philosopher Arjen Kleinherenbrink in 2018.

This program is part of Stukafest Nijmegen. At Stukafest, student rooms in 13 cities will be transformed into theaters where music, dance, stand-up comedy, poetry, literature and theater performances are held. Stukafest aims to expose students to art and culture in the Netherlands.

Subscribe to the English e-mail newsletter and be the first to know about new programming, video's and podcasts.

Nederlands

Wat is er gebeurd met onze tekenfilmhelden? Vroeger waren het vrolijke, lovenswaardige helden met superkrachten die het kwaad overwonnen en elke aflevering min of meer hetzelfde avontuur beleefden. Maar nu zijn het destructieve karakters met persoonlijke problemen, die je na een aflevering met nog meer vragen achterlaten dan je al had. Kom luisteren naar een scherpe cultuuranalyse van filosoof Simon Gusman.

Bojack Horseman

BoJack Horseman, uit de gelijknamige serie, is een depressief paard. Een ‘washed up actor’ die teert op één succes uit zijn verleden en iedereen om hem heen tegen zich in het harnas jaagt. Wat gebeurt hier? Aan de hand van fragmenten uit BoJack Horseman vertelt Simon Gusman hoe moderne series ons niet meer de traditionele avonturen voorspiegelen.

Avonturen bestaan niet, zo claimt Simon Gusman, en hedendaagse popular culture lijkt die boodschap te erkennen. BoJack gaat nergens heen. Hij zit vast in zijn patroon en aan het eind van elke aflevering geldt ‘everything is worse now’. Zijn leven kent geen diepere betekenis, het publiek eindigt met lege handen.

Niet vermaak, maar herkenning?

Betekent dit dat ook de functie van deze culturele uitingen verandert? Niet langer plat vermaak bieden maar herkenning? Wat willen de makers van deze series eigenlijk bereiken, en waarom spreken ze zoveel mensen aan?

Schuif aan en denk verder over je tekenfilmhelden.

De voertaal is Engels.

Over de spreker

Gusman, SimonSimon Gusman is docent Visual Culture aan de Radboud Universiteit. Hij doet onderzoek naar het zelfbegrip in de filosofie van Jean-Paul Sartre. Samen met filosoof Arjen Kleinherenbrink schreef hij Avonturen bestaan niet (2018).



Dit programma is onderdeel van Stukafest Nijmegen. Het Stukafest (StudentenKamerFestival) is een festival in 13 studentensteden in Nederland waarbij culturele optredens in studentenkamers plaatsvinden. Stukafest wil op een laagdrempelige manier studenten in contact laten komen met de kunst en cultuur in Nederland.

Wil je op de hoogte blijven van onze activiteiten? Schrijf je dan in voor de tweewekelijkse nieuwsbrief.