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CFA Berlin Deutscher Künstlerbund e.V. Merkur Zeitschrift Kunst und Helden/ Parter Galerie / gegen archiv CFA Berlin Deutscher Künstlerbund e.V. Merkur Zeitschrift Kunst und Helden/ Parter Galerie / gegen archiv
December 2021

Current Issue

Issue No. 124
December 2021
„Collectivity“

Cooperation and collaboration are buzzwords in the globalized art world. It’s no wonder, then, that artist collectives seem to be everywhere at the moment: from Documenta to the Turner Prize to the protest movements at museums, one is hard-pressed to find a major art event that isn’t characterized by collaborative practices and the invocation of solidarity. This December issue of Texte zur Kunst investigates the relationship between art and activism, as well as the self-understanding of artists who work in and with collectives. In order to fulfill the ideal of emancipatory forms of working and living, communality should not be misinterpreted as a strategy for establishing equality but should instead be understood as a social question – as a means for the redistribution of wealth, participation, and recognition.

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3. December 2021

MODE ZWISCHEN TRAUM UND PREKARISIERTER WIRKLICHKEIT Monica Titton über „Das schönste Gewerbe der Welt: Hinter den Kulissen der Modeindustrie“ von Giulia Mensitieri

Die Identifikation mit der eigenen Arbeit ist ein Schlüsselmoment neoliberalen Wirtschaftens. Ihr zugrunde liegt die Vereinzelung der Subjekte, die zu Leistungsträger*innen eines Kapitalismus geworden sind, der von Subjektivität Mehrwert abschöpft. In kaum einem anderen gesellschaftlichen Bereich tritt dies so schonungslos zutage wie in der Modewelt. In ihrer ethnografischen Studie „Das schönste Gewerbe der Welt“, die auch als Fallstudie für die Arbeitsrealität anderer Bereiche der „creative industries“ Geltung beanspruchen kann, analysiert die Anthropologin Giulia Mensitieri die spezifischen Ausbeutungsmechanismen des globalen Fashion Business. Anlässlich der nun vorliegenden deutschen Übersetzung des Buches erörtert die Soziologin und Modetheoretikerin Monica Titton die Reichweite von Mensitieris Forschung zu den neoliberalen Rekonfigurationen der Arbeit in der Mode.

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1. December 2021

VISIONARY MACHINE..? Rachal Bradley on Peggy Ahwesh at Spike Island, Bristol

US American artist Peggy Ahwesh’s wide-ranging oeuvre includes vital contributions to contemporary experimental film and video. Her first survey exhibition in the UK captures the artist’s formal and thematic dynamism, as well as her incisive criticality. As artist Rachal Bradley describes, the exhibition displays Ahwesh’s embedded and almost premonitory understanding of the potential of the moving image along an exponential technological curve to be coopted for more sinister agendas. Whether manipulating analog film or constructing CGI-rendered worlds, Ahwesh’s commitment to a rigorous investigation social and political realities and to the visual language that shapes these investigations is steadfast.

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26. November 2021

THE CONCRETE INTENSITIES OF SOUND Christian Liclair on Susanne Sachsse with Xiu Xiu at Participant Inc, New York

In East Germany, artistic practices that did not adhere to Socialist Realist imperatives were branded Formalist and barred from consideration for public commissions. One affected artist, Kurt W. Streubel, challenged the GDR’s policy and continued to produce a rich body of work. Actress and artist Susanne Sachsse’s recent show in New York pays tribute to Streubel with a sprawling installation that takes up elements of Streubel’s oeuvre and reconfigures it for the present. And, while Streubel’s presence looms large in the show – it opened on his 101st birthday, a year later than planned – it offers little historical context. Here, art historian Christian Liclair details some of this context, as well as Sachsee’s relationship to Streubel, offering a dynamic reading of the show’s many layers.

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24. November 2021

ALPHABET SPAGHETTI FEEDBACK Tom McCarthy in Conversation with Stephanie LaCava

In the first pages of his new novel, Tom McCarthy writes, “Computer modelling won’t show you everything. Sometimes you have to actually do it, make a little world, get down amidst dumb objects and their messiness.” And so, in the midst of coding, of programming an imagined world, there are still material questions. McCarthy is interested in the efficacy and deficits of corporeal communication, gestures of poetry and language that can never be fixed down. This latest book reminds the reader that it is she – the spectator – who gives final meaning to all these movements and machines. Author Stephanie LaCava spoke with McCarthy about the book and the sea of references that inspired it.

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Artists' Editions

Michaela Eichwald, "Mißlungenes Bild", 2021

19. November 2021

SUBVERSION ZWISCHEN GESCHÄFTSMODELL UND KURATORISCHER FORSCHUNG Rainer Bellenbaum über Amos Vogel im Arsenal (Berlin) und auf der Viennale 2021 (Wien)

Im Kapitalismus der Gegenwart, in dem Unkonventionalität längst selbst zur Norm geworden ist, scheint Subversion als kritische Kategorie obsolet geworden zu sein. Als Filmkritiker und -kurator Amos Vogel 1974 sein Buch „Film as a Subversive Art“ schrieb, das Generationen von Cinephilen und Programmgestalter*innen beeinflusste und das nun neu aufgelegt werden soll, waren die sozialen, politischen wie ästhetischen Vorzeichen noch andere. Und doch ist Vogels Methode des Kinomachens bis heute das Modell für Kinematheken, Filmmuseen und Filmfestivals, wie allein zwei aktuelle Würdigungen in Berlin und Wien zu Vogels 100. Geburtstag belegen. Vor welche Herausforderungen die Subversionsthese die kinematografische Gegenwart stellt, legt Autor und Filmkritiker Rainer Bellenbaum im Nachgang dieser beiden Hommagen dar.

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17. November 2021

A Home without a Cat Is Just a House Annette Weisser on Vincent Fecteau at Fridericianum, Kassel

The proliferation of online “Viewing Rooms” as an interim alternative for viewing art during the pandemic is hopefully not a permanent development. Bolstered by specious claims that they democratize art by delivering it to anyone with an internet connection, these virtual realities tend to reduce exhibitions to a flat, glossy interface that best serves the market, not art or viewers. Here, artist and writer Annette Weisser narrates her first post-lockdown exhibition visit – Vincent Fecteau in Kassel – and describes the sensations of this experience, reminding us, through Fecteau’s work, just what is so great about tangible encounters with artworks.

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12. November 2021

WERTSCHÖPFUNGSKETTENGLIEDER Michael Hutter über Antoine Watteau im Schloss Charlottenburg, Berlin

Im Juli dieses Jahres jährte sich zum 300. Mal der Todestag des französischen Malers Antoine Watteau (1684-1721). Schon zu Lebzeiten waren dessen Werke begehrte Sammelobjekte. Allerdings waren es nicht Watteaus Originalzeichnungen und -gemälde, die damals den Großteil des Umsatzes auf dem Kunstmarkt ausmachten, sondern druckgrafische Reproduktionen. Eine Sonderausstellung im Schloss Charlottenburg ehrt den Maler nun mit einer großen Werkschau unter den Aspekten des Handelns mit und Sammelns von Kunst. Mit ihren reichen Sammler*innen, spezialisierten Expert*innen, kunstbegeisterten Unternehmer*innen sowie renommierten Kunstkritiker*innen ähnelt die Pariser Kunstszene des frühen 18. Jahrhunderts, wie der Ökonom und Soziologe Michael Hutter argumentiert, strukturell dem heutigen „global art circuit“.

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10. November 2021

Tom Hastings: Public Speaking. On the meaning of “I” in the artist's open letter

The open letter has long been utilized as a form for airing grievances in the art world, initiating and intensifying discussions on art's imbrication in dominant sociopolitical conditions and positioning art against those conditions. As we look forward to our December issue on collectivity, we are sharing writer Tom Hastings's 2016 text on open letters and artistic authorship. As Hastings argues, whether it is the individual or the collective who takes a stand, those undersigned publicly consolidate an authorial voice that must, intentionally or not, double back on the value of what they as artists do, and how they do it. The open-letter format maximizes distribution; effect all but guaranteed.

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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.