Matthias Schamp

*1964 in Bochum


Matthias Schamp, Hegel-Hooligans, 2016, video still, Courtesy of the artist & Claudia Heinrich, © Matthias Schamp

On June 22, 2016, a group of activists in front of the Audimax of the Ruhr-University Bochum chanted very particular slogans. The protesters shouted loudly: “Contradiction as a basic principle!” or “The whole is the truth! The truth is the whole!” or “We are not soccer fans! We are Hegel hooligans!” The artist Matthias Schamp had initiated the action. The location was carefully chosen because the University in Bochum houses the Hegel Archive. 

Matthias Schamp, Hegel-Hooligans, 2016, video of the action, color, sound, Courtesy of the artist & Claudia Heinrich, © Matthias Schamp

Schamp explains the action as follows: “Dear people, advocates of a sophisticated form of rowdyism, the Hegel hooliganism has nothing to do with ordinary hooliganism which we shall call ‘wimp hooliganism’ for the sake of simplicity. Yes, it is even antithetical to it. One of the slogans of the wimp-hooligans is: ‘We brought you something: Hate! Hate! Hate!’ Whereas the message of the Hegel-Hooligans states: ‘We brought you something: Intellect! Intellect! Intellect!’ In a time in which usually only physical achievements are celebrated frenetically, the action sets an example: At least for once, an intellectual achievement should be celebrated just as loudly. An example in this regard sets the philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770-1831), who made contradiction a basic principle. And who realized that ‘… this fear of error is just the error itself.’ And since Hegel is also a big shot when it comes to the philosophy of law, even the police wanted to contribute to the success of the action. Without further ado, they sent a delegation to the scene of the action, an act that rounded off the whole picture. A great ending. Obviously, somebody else put real thought into the whole thing, too! Thank you!”