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Athens Biennale 7th List Art Fair Basel Art Cologne 2021 CFA Berlin Kunsthalle Zürich Athens Biennale 7th List Art Fair Basel Art Cologne 2021 CFA Berlin Kunsthalle Zürich
September 2021

Current Issue

Issue No. 123
September 2021

This September issue of Texte zur Kunst examines envy as the operating system of an art world based largely on networking, competition, and interdependencies. Envy, as understood here, develops when individuals orient and compare themselves to others. One could characterize the art world as a prototype for a competition-driven, envy-generating society; achievement in art is difficult to measure and counts less than success. Issue #123 takes a closer look at the productive as well as destructive potentials of envy in the field of art and examines the extent to which the diagnosis of envy plays into the competitive nature of work and life today. The specific social effects of contemporary forms of online communication are discussed here, as well as the political economy of envy with particular regard to art.

To the table of contents

24. September 2021

ARE WE DED? Adela Kim on Martine Syms at Bridget Donahue, New York

Digital space has changed processes of self-formation: it has expanded the limits of identity and access, but it has also enabled their heightened surveillance and policing. Martine Syms’s most recent exhibition at Bridget Donahue – with videos and sculptural collages that traverse the autobiographical while remaining firmly grounded in an invented world – lands squarely in the middle of the dilemma of the digital, argues art historian Adela Kim. As Kim observes, Syms suggests that while technological mediation beguiles us into believing that it is cordoned away within our screens, it reaches far into our offline lives. Between investigations into presence and absence, identity and technology, the show ultimately produces a ghostly aura of desire and loss that cuts through the chaos of the images.

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21. September 2021

THE OTHER DIMENSION Ian Wooldridge on Isabel Waidner's “Sterling Karat Gold”

Isabel Waidner’s latest novel has been praised as being unlike any other work of literature. Packed with saturated imagery and forays into the autofictional adorned in fantastical trappings, Waidner illustrates a world not unlike our own – one marked by state violence against those made vulnerable through the intersections of gender, race, and class – and explores tactics invested in better futures. Artist and writer Ian Wooldridge takes us through the book’s movements, describing how, in Waidner’s narrative, encryption and transient spatial conditions merge fiction with iconography and actuality.

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17. September 2021

THE REIFICATION OF OUR SOULS Isabelle Graw in conversation with Joseph Vogl

Envy is a projection, an intrapsychic relational affect with a social dimension: I lack what others have. As the production of scarcity is one of the defining prerequisites of capital and financial market dynamism, the processes of capitalist exploitation add fuel to my desire for what someone else possesses. “Texte zur Kunst” publisher Isabelle Graw and the cultural theorist Joseph Vogl discuss this primal scene of nascent resentment with a view to the sphere of art auctions as well as contemporary forms of online communication. The question of whether and how capitalist market dynamics can occupy, integrate, and commercialize artistic and emancipatory-activist practices is a constant concern in their conversation.

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3. September 2021

HOW CAN WE LIVE TOGETHER? Lisa Moravec on “Cohabitation – A Manifesto for the Solidarity of Non-Humans and Humans in Urban Space” at silent green, Berlin

The seemingly unending string of severe and devastating weather events this summer have again underscored the unsettling data about climate change that continues to confirm what we should already know by now: unless we dramatically and collectively change how we inhabit the planet, things will only get worse. It remains a question, however, what those changes will or should look like. An exhibition at silent green this summer explored one aspect of this dilemma, examining new modes for existing with animals in urban space. Art historian Lisa Moravec reports here on the questions involved and how artists attempt to deal with them in their practices.

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Artists' Editions

Matias Faldbakken, "ABSTRACT ENVY", 2013 / 2021

1. September 2021

LIEBE ZUR ONTOLOGIE Jan Verwoert über „White Space in White Space / Biely priestor v bielom priestore, 1973−1982. Stano Filko, Miloš Laky, Ján Zavarský“, hg. von Daniel Grúň, Christian Höller und Kathrin Rhomberg

Weißes Nichts. Zeitgenössische Kommentare auf konzeptuelle Kunstpraktiken aus Osteuropa nehmen häufig Bezug auf Figuren aus dem Westen wie Ad Reinhardt und Piero Manzoni. Ein kürzlich erschienener Sammelband der Manifeste und Schriften von drei der einflussreichsten Vertreter der osteuropäischen Neo-Avantgarde – Stano Filko, Miloš Laky und Ján Zavarský – zeigt jedoch, dass die Bedingungen der künstlerischen, politischen und philosophischen Auseinandersetzung jeweils andere sind. In Essays, Interviews und Kommentaren huldigt das Buch der avantgardistischen Lust am Streit, liefert aber vor allem, wie Jan Verwoert argumentiert, Stoff für eine Debatte über die Notwendigkeit, die Vorzeichen künstlerischer Kritik (bezogen auf ihre Ausgangs- und Angriffspunkte) in ihrer Besonderheit zu begreifen.

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27. August 2021
Issue No. 68

BEYOND PRIVATION AND ABUNDANCE: Psychoanalysis as Political and Aesthetic Theory By Helmut Draxler

Psychological categories are usually considered problematic in modern political and aesthetical discourses despite their persistent presence in both fields — be it because they excessively impregnate social conflicts with emotions, or because they may suggest that personal motivations and biographical influences are the ultimate foundations for the production and the perception of artistic works. However, the following essay by Helmut Draxler from Issue No. 68, which we are republishing here while looking ahead to our September issue on “Envy,” argues that psychoanalysis — in its theoretical approaches aiming at the dynamics of social and institutional relationship patterns — does provide a set of methodological instruments that also allows for scrutinizing the interaction of psychic dispositions and social conditions, forbearing to merge the one into the other effortlessly.

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25. August 2021

NATURES MORTES, TABLEAUX VIVANTS Catherine Chevalier on Anne Imhof at Palais de Tokyo, Paris

Anne Imhof – best known for large-scale performances with troupes of collaborators – responded to the Palais de Tokyo’s carte blanche invitation without engaging a single live body. In her current exhibition, Imhof reminds visitors that she is a painter first, creating an exhibition that treats the space as an all-encompassing stage. Including a wealth of artistic references – art historical predecessors, teachers, friends – and artifacts from performances past, the exhibition gives new meaning and use value to words, works, surfaces, architectures, in favor of staging a directly effective artwork, argues editor and writer Catherine Chevalier.

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20. August 2021

BILDUNG ZWISCHEN BATTLEFIELD UND SPIELPLATZ? Marietta Kesting über „Bildungsschock: Lernen, Politik und Architektur in den 1960er und 1970er Jahren“ im Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin

Räume des Lernens. Die kürzlich im Berliner Haus der Kulturen der Welt zu Ende gegangene Ausstellung „Bildungsschock: Lernen, Politik und Architektur in den 1960er und 1970er Jahren“ war ein Gemeinschaftsprojekt von Kurator Tom Holert mit verschiedenen Künstler*innen, Wissenschaftler*innen und Architekt*innen. Die im Titel angesprochenen 1960er und 1970er Jahre stellten den zeitlichen Rahmen dar, der hier als Ausgangpunkt für aktuelle Debatten rund um das Thema Bildung diente. Umso dringlicher erscheint diese Anschlussfähigkeit an die Gegenwart unter dem Eindruck einer Pandemie, die nicht nur infrastrukturelle Lücken im Bildungssektor sichtbar werden lässt, sondern auch dafür sorgt, dass reformpädagogische Ideen einmal mehr im Modus der Krise, der Katastrophe und des Mangels diskutiert werden, wie die Medien- und Kulturwissenschaftlerin Marietta Kesting argumentiert.

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TEXTE ZUR KUNST stands for controversial discussions and contributions by internationally leading writers on contemporary art and culture. Alongside ground-breaking essays, the quarterly magazine – which was founded in Cologne in 1990 by Stefan Germer (†) and Isabelle Graw and has been published, since 2000, in Berlin – offers interviews, roundtable discussions, and comprehensive reviews on art, film, music, the market, fashion, art history, theory, and cultural politics. Since 2006, the journal's entire main section has been published in both German and English. Additionally, each issue features exclusive editions by internationally renowned artists, who generously support the magazine by producing a unique series.