In this year’s summer exhibition, entitled »Still Alive«, artists belonging to Deutscher Künstlerbund show how they have been and still are dealing with the loss of public exposure and with physical distancing in interpersonal relations – using postcards, a pre-digital, haptic medium that bridges the gap between people and places, creating presence in the form of words, images and materials.
As Friedrich Kittler writes in »Gramophone Film Typewriter«: »Media determine our situation.« Roughly 150 years ago, the first messages were sent on cards without envelopes. Originally intended as form of quick dispatch, postcards soon began to feature pictures as a way of overcoming distance. The 1960s saw the emergence of Mail Art, with artists sending each other letters, postcards, small objects and other documents. This art, that could be neither bought nor sold but only received, developed as a productive exchange of ideas grounded in a critical attitude towards the art business.
With »Still Alive«, the featured artists use such postcards as a means to start a discussion about the situation of art in the pandemic.
The over 160 postcards received will be on show throughout the summer in the exhibition space of the Deutsche Künstlerbund and its large street facing windows. They can be viewed from outside day and night, testifying to the artists’ stamina, sense of humour and unbroken creativity. Each postcard is an artwork. Featuring collage, painting, photography, poetry, text graphics, drawings, scratching, layering and appropriation, the range of artistic approaches is limitless and as varied as the reactions to the pandemic.
The title »Still Alive« is a tribute to On Kawara’s series of telegrams sent at irregular intervals between 1970 and 1979 to inform friends and fellow artists that he was still alive.
With contributions from:
Jochem Ahmann | Ute Bartel | Sandra Becker | Matthias Beckmann | Dörte Behn | Betty Beier | Silvia Klara Breitwieser | Katja Butt | Dieter Call | Armin Chodzinski | Uta Clemens | Brigitte Dams | Martin A. Dege | Claudia Desgranges | Dörte Eißfeldt | Nezaket Ekici | Reinhold Engberding | Hermann EsRichter | Alexander von Falkenhausen | Manuela Fersen | Ulrike Flaig | Helga Franz | Verena Freyschmidt | Elfi E. Fröhlich | Roland Fuhrmann | Judith Ganz | Oliver Gather | Patricija Gilyte | Harald Gnade | Dorthe Goeden | Monika Goetz | Rainer Görß | Rita M. W. Große-Ruyken | Marion Gülzow | Ingke Günther | Inge Gutbrod | Zandra Harms | Susanne Hegmann | Bernd Hennig | Wolfgang Henning | Mario Hergueta | Karin Hochstatter | Beate Höing | Erwin Holl | Gabriele Horndasch | Claude Horstmann | Michael Jäger | Gunilla Jähnichen | Helga Jahnke | Constantin Jaxy | Birgit Jensen | Timo Kahlen | Rita Kanne | Vera Kattler | Nikolaus Kernbach | Ulrike Kessl | Ellen Keusen | Bernd Klötzer | Claudia van Koolwijk | Hans Kotter | Käthe Kruse | Ulrich Langenbach | Gertrude Elvira Lantenhammer | Jürgen Liefmann | Christin Lutze | Katharina Meldner | Susanna Messerschmidt | Nanne Meyer | Karl von Monschau | Jub Mönster | Andrea Morein | Michaela Nasoetion | Gertrud Neuhaus | Klaus Noculak | Ottjörg A.C. | Jürgen Paas | Christina Paetsch | Joachim Palm | Stephanie Pech | Jan-Hendrik Pelz | Ute Pleuger | Katja von Puttkamer | Kathrin Rabenort | Stewens Ragone | Rona Rangsch | Christiane Rasch | Bettina Rave | Anna Recker | Annette Reichardt | Susanne Ring | Ivo Ringe | Rita Rohlfing | Cornelia Rößler | Götz Sambale | Uwe Schäfer | Sigrid Schewior | Inge Schmidt | Hansjörg Schneider | Christine Schulz | Zuzanna Skiba | Hildegard Skowasch | Peter Stauder | Dietlinde Stengelin | Markus Strieder | Nele Ströbel | Nanaé Suzuki | Anja Teske | Volker Thies | Anke Völk | Voré | Alexander Voß | Jörg Wagner | Heike Weber | Ivo Weber | Julia Wenz-Delaminsky | Hans Wesker | Melanie Windl | Jost Wischnewski | Manfred Woitischek | Barbara Wrede | Andrea Zaumseil | Annett Zinsmeister | Moira Zoitl