Action is Concrete


Raimar Stange over the week-long marathon of Camp Truth is concrete steirischer herbst 2012th

The centerpiece of this year’s steirischer herbst in Graz was a one week under the title Truth is concrete barred marathon camp. 24 hours a day were reflected in workshops, discussions, lectures, concerts, performances, excursions and the process-scale exhibition and interactive adaptation of the possibilities of concrete, both artistic and politically effective action. Purpose, 100 Fellows have been invited from all over the world who were in the camp and its space lab created by the Berlin architecture then housed for the duration of the event. As with the summer seventh biennial stood at Truth is concrete that is not a detached, but. perfectly formed art practice of individual artists producing works in focus Rather, an art was discussed, which is characterized by a project-based, explicitly political broader activity. The collective, process-oriented form of this camp was perfect for such an artistic approach.

The contrast of – once put pointedly – “noble” and “committed” art practice was then also, for example, in the six hours Panel The politics of artistic practices, which was led by Chantal Mouffe, in the center. Significantly, Stephen Wright and Stefan Hertmans who uphold the qualities of the sublime, sublime artwork fought, did not hesitate to throw erzbürgerliche categories like artistic autonomy and the Kantian “disinterested pleasure” to the discussion. Especially Anette Baldauf and Gerald Raunig disagreed as energetic and pointed to the obsolescence of categories that could make far more than to legitimize the production aestheticist and market-oriented art.

Another highlight of the total of over 170 hours long program: Jonas Staal’s lecture History of art, recording to the resistance. Staal put inter alia to the New World Summit, a kind of “terrorist Parliament” to be negotiated in the how “terrorism” can actually characterize. Who has power to define who sets so when we speak of “violence” when such is legitimate “rule of law” and when not to? Discussed these issues at the New World Summit include with lawyers and activists. Also the panel moderated by Florian Malzacher Occupy now? Where others Attended by members of Occupy Museum of New York asked, questions about the legality or illegality of different ways to combine art and politics. Speaking of Occupy: Halfway through the marathon camps studied members of the group, supported by the local activist group “KIG! Culture in Graz “, the Kunsthaus Graz home – even after all of the participants steirischer herbst. About 50 activists spilled thick black and reminiscent of oil paint in the foyer of the building and also torched in front of the temple of art from pyrotechnics. The whole spectacle was, of course, meant as a message of solidarity to parallel in time to ereignende demonstrations in Greece and Spain.

Admittedly Such provocative actions meant threaten to degenerate into a stitch, they are close to it in the fall just to style and genre event, which also works with art character continues to slip. This is certainly a serious problem. It is striking, however, that this precarious situation of political art is accused of a lot faster than some of the paintings.

In contrast to the seventh the biennial marathon Camp Truth is concrete but was taken mostly friendly – both the “experts” as the local media in Graz. And even though there were several overlapping between the two events in programmatic terms. The reason for the benevolent criticism may be found in the different orientation of the two cities: Berlin, with its more than 400 galleries, is heavily focused on the production of object-shaped art, process-working artists but have always had been difficult. In contrast, Graz has always been more likely to dominate the fields of music, literature and theater, so aesthetic fields that will not put a priority on producing objects. Accordingly easier it is here to welcome the rejection of the primacy of the unique work of art well.