Gerhard Richter scandalized by German choice for 2011 Venice Biennale

Gerhard Richter, “Abstraktes Bild (Abstract Painting),” 2009, oil on canvas, 84cm x 84cm
Gerhard Richter, “Mund Mouth (Brigitte Bardot’s Lips),” 1963, oil on canvas, 67cm X 74cm

In ArtForum, Jennifer Allen reports that Gerhard Richter is pissed off because filmmaker/theater director, installation/performance artist  Christoph Schlingensief has been selected to represent Germany at the next Venice Biennale in 2011. �That�s a scandal,� Richter is reported to have said by the Berliner Zeitung. �They�re taking a performer although we have thousands of artists.� Richter associates the selection of the multitasking director Schlingensief with �the decline of painting.� Curator Susanne Gaensheimer who made the choice has reacted with a written statement, published by Art magazine. While honoring Richter�s role as �the most important living artist of the twentieth century,� Gaensheimer consciously chose Schlingensief as an artist who challenges both the content and the form of decidedness while transgressing borders. �In association with the German pavilion, I view his work as a contribution to discussions about the deterritorialization of the arts and to questions regarding the social relevance of art.� Schlingensief’s influences include Joseph Beuys‘s ideas about social sculpture, Allan Kaprow and Dieter Roth.

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  1. "deterritorialization?" ugh. jargon zombie.

  2. Indeed. "Destabilize" or even the dreaded "problematize" sound positively down-to-earth next to this gem. Power positions remain unchanged – deterritorialize that.

  3. It's not just a German problem.

    This dilation or dilution (sorry about the jargon) of art in the interests of activist events underlines a massive problem for the arts generally.

    Essentially it confuses form with content, and is fundamentally a philosophical issue.

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