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Organisation: Inga Schwede and Eiko Grimberg
Hochschule für Grafik und Buchkunst | Wächterstrasse 11 | Leipzig
June 18 til 24, 2002
Flyer +++ Preface +++ NO!art and the Dialectic of Enlightenment
Program +++ NO!art and Jew Art +++ Lurie & Stein
NO!art and the dialectic of enlightenment +++ Too many pictures

Flyer, frontsideFlyer, backside
click on image to enlarge
Flyer, 8 pages, 29,7 x 21 cm, images, front and backside

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"Articulating the past does not mean recognizing it 'as it actually was.' It means seizing a memory as it flashes at the moment of danger." - The fear of the old in the new evokes terror. Walter Benjamin has the awareness of the progression of the catastrophe and he had it before the catastrophe.

His historical materialist knows that the extermination of the deportees was stopped militarily, without the Germans, and they have not found any reasonable reason against the murder except that of the threatened punishment until today. Their thinking has not been able to detach itself from that of terror, not from blood and soil, not from the "actual", "natural", "original".

The world as a state of nature, in which people do not make their history of their own free will, does not provide a guarantee that it could not be repeated and inhumane is any thinking that wants to make us believe that it will change for the better: This is the ideology of the state of nature, that of the enemies of emancipation. - "even the dead will not be safe from the enemy, if he is victorious. And this enemy has not ceased to conquer."

The Germans have won, they have won the war, and they will manage to bend in your favor even the slightest objection that their inhumane practice arouses in the world - they will track it down. They will mock and ridicule even the last dead person. The German is the anti-emancipation made flesh. His greasy craft is the "culture of memory", in his mouth the facts turn into lies, a clever word: it becomes stale and stinks, a German says it. In his victorious mood he grants "coping with the past", the Wahrheil costs nothing, it is all "depressing", "terrible", "inconceivable": this is the repertoire of that gutter poetry that every German, bragging abroad about grandpa's deeds, recites unasked.

The Germans are not interested in the reconciled humanity they want the state of nature. - "The spoils are carried along in triumph, as has always been the case. They are called the cultural goods." -- Still the documents of barbarism are good for booty, in the triumph of having survived Auschwitz they exhibit their instruments of torture. They document their culture of murder -- that is what they have since they destroyed emancipation and they call it cultural property. "Memory, responsibility, future", that is the vocabulary of the extermination profiteers: they shit on the victims, they are the patronizing masters who distribute alms - they whine, someone demands more than they allow him. If someone is stubborn, he becomes the perpetrator: If the Jew refuses the reconciling hand, then woe to him! One has pity on the dead.

All quotations from: On the Concept of History, Walter Benjamin, 1940

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NO-ART AND JEW-ART | Tuesday, June 18, 2002 #7pm HGB, room 2.41 | Iconoclasm and Blasphemy as a Strategy of Aggressive Incorrectness. [Georg Bussmann, Düren]. A lecture on the aesthetics of shock to produce bewilderment as a contradiction to false knowledge and "false life".

BORIS LURIE | Thursday, June 20, 2002 7pm HGB, room 3.48 | Excerpts from interviews with NO!art artist Boris Lurie and former gallery owner Gertrude Stein, New York 2002

NO!art AND THE DIALECTIC OF ENLIGTHENMENT | By Rainer Rumold | Friday, June 21, 2002 #7pm HGB Room 2.41 | Theodor Adorno and Horkheimer had completed The Dialectic of Enlightenment in 1944, as exiles in the United States, Santa Monica, Cal.  It was first published in 1947 by Querido, a major exile press in Amsterdam, one year after Boris Lurie emigrated to the States in the wake of his experience as an inmate of a camp associated with Buchenwald.

Apparently not very grateful to the American host nation which had sheltered them as German Jews from the Nazis and protected them from Japanese imperialism (ultimately with the Atomic bomb!), Adorno/Horkheimer had come to view American capitalist society (less than a decade before the rise of McCarthyism) in dangerous relation to fascism. They had thereby linked antisemitism with the capitalist mechanism to subjugate the weak, and to ostracize and eliminate the other and outsider as the "enemy." Horkheimer's/Adorno's hermeneutics of suspicion claimed that the capitalist commodification of every vital need and cultural expression had made a victim of individual authentic experience, had led to an unanalyzed discontent in civilization. Protest against the system had been displaced with hatred and aggression against outsiders, foremost the Jews viewed as the original modern entrepreneur without values, abused as scapegoats.

The practice to manipulate the subject's comprehensive needs toward mere objects for mass consumption, Adorno and Horkheimer wrote, had been merely exploited by the Nazis in using "the training the culture industry has given (the masses), in order to organize them into its own forced batallions."  - Some 15 or so years after Theodor Adorno and Horkheimer, exiles in the United States, had completed The Dialectic of Enlightenment in 1944, the  works of “No!Art” would refocus on  the issues  of Jews as objects of ultimate violence and woman as sex objects. In the New York of the early 1960s, Boris Lurie and others brought these problematics into a proximity that would prove - in the space of the visual - to be so explosive that the main stream institution of art to this very day still has not quite absorbed its shock value.

The talk will analyze the problematics  of “No! art’s” negative aesthetics  in  comparison and contrast to the “classical” institutional nature of the “dark” philosophical discourse of Adorno/Horkheimer, Dialectic of Enlightenment, George Grosz’s  moral dialectic of political criticism and self-critique,  and George Bataille’s aesthetics of transgressing  the moral and aesthetic.  Compared also with recently provocative “Holocaust” shows in New York, the dilemma of an adequate or any significant reception of “No! Art” in the postmodern arena seems to lie in the circumstance that its moral claims are Marxist, and that its imagery is misunderstood as immoral. more
Download Full essay, 9 pages

TOO MANY PICTURES | Monday, June 24, 2002 #7pm HGB, room 2.41 |...seen too often? Against the alleged trivialization of the Holocaust through comics [Ole Frahm/Hamburg]. The discourse on the Holocaust and the discourse on comics intersect on the question of whether too many images are not shown too often. There is talk of a "flood of images" that stultifies the former and prevents historical enlightenment in the latter. The lecture on light pictures with some unknown comic examples will show, based on NO!art, that the criticism of quantity distracts from the question of what the pictures actually say about the Holocaust. As Art Spiegelman's Maus impressively shows,

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