The liberal capitalist world order that prevailed after 1989 is today in a stage of advanced disintegration. The collapse of this order exposes the illiberal core of its freedoms and forms of ownership shaped by the market: the violent unfreedoms of the dispossessed as well as the willingness of the propertied to use violence. Art, too, reveals itself as the venue of these forces and their exclusions: Through the downfall of liberality, the modern institution of “veranstaltlichte Kunst” (“institutionalized art”, Arnold Hauser) and its social legitimacy are also increasingly called into question.
The exhibition and publication project Illiberal Arts is a search for forms concerning an artistic “Lebensarbeit” (“life’s work”, Lu Märten, publicist and art critic, 1879–1970) initiated with international artists, poets and authors. In the cracks of the decaying forms of market accumulation, anti-identitarian, communal horizons burst open, as do collective forms of perception and political spontaneities. The project subjects these to a practical test. For Lu Märten, “a person’s whole life’s work” was considered artistic; what was artistic didn’t always have to become art. Perhaps what became art doesn’t necessarily have to remain art either.
With contributions by Cassandra Press, Raven Chacon with Candice Hopkins, Cut away, with effects (2021), Bill Dietz, Stephan Dillemuth, Övül Ö. Durmuşoğlu, Thomas Eggerer, Frank Engster, Ciarán Finlayson, keyon gaskin, Melanie Gilligan, Larne Abse Gogarty, Nicholas Grafia, Tamar Guimarães, Natascha Sadr Haghighian, Danny Hayward, Johanna Hedva, Ho Rui An, Anne Imhof, Pauline Curnier Jardin with the Feel Good Cooperative (Dana, Giuliana, Alexandra Lopez, Serena Olcuire, Gilda Star, Barby Valentina), Lisa Jeschke, Karrabing Film Collective, Aristilde Paz Justine Kirby, Anja Kirschner, Dani Leder, Jota Mombaça, Rosalind C. Morris, MYSTI, Jenny Nachtigall, Henrike Naumann, Fumi Okiji, Orakel, Ana Teixeira Pinto, Steve Reinke, Mikołaj Sobczak, Juliana Spahr, Jordan Strafer, Sunset Open Call (Kasi Althaus, Elena Peters Arnolds, Kathy Seitzinger Hepburn, Laura L. LePere, Aude Lèvere, Andrea Victoria Paradiso, Denise Pinnell, Christin Rothe, Suzie Sullivan, Amy Sutryn, Rosana VanHorn), Marina Vishmidt, Simone White, Philip Wiegard, Kandis Williams, Constantina Zavitsanos
Curated by Anselm Franke and Kerstin Stakemeier
Part of The New Alphabet