Wolfgang Tillmans’s multifaceted work in media ranging from photography to music and political activism campaigns has won him numerous accolades, including this year’s Kaiserring, the renowned art award given out by the City of Goslar.For this edition Tillmans resorted to a creative technique he has honed since the 1980s: photocopying. Produced in four scanning passes and then refined as a high-quality print, the motif shows the edges of two issues of TEXTE ZUR KUNST set on the copier’s platen glass; some of the pages interlock almost as though in a tender gesture of friendship. The bottom half of the picture accosts the viewer with a question: “How likely is it that only I am right in this matter?” The line not only challenges the know-it-all inside every one of us, it also and more importantly prompts us to revisit the ideas of truth and opinion, which, as we discussed in our last issue, being emptied of meaning by the propaganda of political autocrats.For “What Is Different?” (2017/18), his volume in the Jahresring series, Tillmans studied the so-called backfire effect − the phenomenon, first described by the political scientists Brendan Nyhan and Jason Reifler in 2010, that people who firmly espouse a political ideology double down on their views when presented with contradictory facts.As a magazine for art criticism, we strive to define parameters that can help replace subjective belief and navel-gazing with objective critical assessments. How are we doing? Tillmans harnesses the power of technological reproduction to throw light on our efforts, page by page.
Inkjet print, 29.7 x 21 cm, edition: 100 + 30 A.P., numbered and signed on the front, € 750.- plus shipping.