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A05 Counterpublic Spheres? On the Sociopolitical Positioning of Intervening Arts in the Post-ideological Era (1970–2010)

Using examples from the history of a divided Germany after 1945, this research project investigates political and social constellations and discursive patterns of intervention in the visual arts and how they have changed in a historical context. What kind of resonance does society expect from the arts and what kind of resonance do the arts and artists want to generate? How and for what motives do certain artists refuse to engage in generating such resonance, and how are they received? In which public spheres does this resonance generation take place? These questions regarding the interventionist nature and potential public impact of artistic work are addressed in three subprojects with a focus on the actors involved.

SP 1 examines, through selected case studies, the modes, effectiveness, and self-perceptions of artistic intervention in politics since the 1970s, focusing on the Federal Republic of Germany and other Western societies. SP 2 explores participation and exclusion on the art and commission markets from the perspective of a divided Germany. SP 3 examines political and aesthetic resistance to the politicization of the visual arts that began at the end of the 1950s, focusing on West German art associations.

Head of Project

Prof. Dr. Paul Nolte (SP 1)

Doctoral Researcher

Marla Heid (SP 2)

Norma Ladewig (SP 2, on maternity leave)

Theresa Angenlahr (SP 3)

Student Assistant

Benedikt Kendler