In an interview given shortly before his death, Vilém Flusser (1920–1991) forcefully argued that “synthetic images are an answer to Auschwitz”. Only by passing through radical abstraction is a new concretisation conceivable, and with it the idea of a new and exciting life. This, he concluded, marks the start of posthistory. Flusser readily accepted the challenge of rethinking the arts in a world where our existence is largely determined by technology, and developed a particular anthropology fusing scientific methods with a new understanding of culture.
Flusser’s thought and writings were a constant experiment in living and surviving in the diaspora. At the age of nineteen, he fled from his native Prague as the German forces were advancing on the city. From England, he emigrated to Brazil, where he lived for thirty years. During the military dictatorship, he returned to Europe, living first in various parts of Italy, then in Switzerland and for nearly twenty years in France. In the late 1980s, Vilém Flusser became one of the seminal thinkers in media theory in Europe and frequently took part in scholarly platforms and fora in Germany. Moving from place to place, undisciplined and anachronistic in more ways than one: as a kind of minimalist excursion, this exhibition invites visitors to imagine the stages of Vilém Flusser’s nomadic life as a model of the force of connections we call the twentieth century. Through the arts and his writings, Flusser countered the inevitable unreality of the past with the heightened anticipation of exactly those things which characterise the early twenty-first century.
The contributing artists include Dany Akmen, Edmar de Almeida, Louis Bec, Gabriel Borba, Jürgen Claus, Harun Farocki, Fischli/Weiss, Alex Flemming, Samson Flexor, Joan Fontcuberta, Fred Forest, Herbert W. Franke, Cyriak Harris, Andreas Henrich, Dieter Jung, Knobotic Research, Jörg Lindenmaier, Marcello Mercado, Achim Mohné/Uta Kopp, Anthony Moore, Matthias Müller, Andreas Müller-Pohle, Nam June Paik, The Quay Brothers, Mario Ramiro, Mira Schendel, Lisa Schmitz, Peter C. Simon, Ed Sommer, Niobe Xandó, and Pinar Yoldas.