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A Better World: Tue Greenfort, San Keller and Klaus Weber at Bonner Kunstverein

BONN.- In their work, artists Tue Greenfort (1973, Copenhagen / Berlin), San Keller (1971, Zurich) and Klaus Weber (1967, Berlin) humorously reinterpret existing societal and ecologic circumstances for their own purposes. They redirect commercial, ecologic and economic cycles and give them better purposes than those permitted by their worldly existence.

In the last few years, fine arts have made more newspaper headlines than ever before. But the debate is increasingly shifting away from feuilleton pages and towards the people- and marketplace sections where lifestyle and recordbreaking sales prices are highlighted. Up until the seventies, art was largely received as a critical impulse from society which was often meant to provoke. But these days, at least according to some contemporaries, it has lost its critical edge by becoming part of an element that simply caters to today’s lifestyle. Has art itself lost much of its effect on society, or have we in today’s mediadriven culture simply become unable to hear, see or read certain critical ideas?

By referencing our reality, the pieces of the exhibition A Better World are renewing art’s claim to critical relevance while proving wrong those who are willing to write it off all too quickly. The point that not art itself but the society viewing it has become de-politicized is one worth examining. What is the societal purpose of fine art in today’s world, where civic society has given way to globalized society? How can fine art today appear political, critical or committed? Should these expectations be dismissed as mere romantic notions in light of our global media society and if so, what can be expected of today’s art? In a recent interview, Beat Wyss claimed that in today’s globalized world, art has the chance to be a system of communication. Provocation is no longer art’s domain, but instead that of the mass media.1.Contrarily, Jan Verwoert introduces the expression “good life” into the analysis of today’s art education. He views the teachings of art as a potential battleground for the humane and socio-political struggle of the individual in a society increasingly threatened by economization.

The exhibit A BETTER WORLD marks the beginning of a dialogue about art and politics in today’s world. The examples of three young artistic positions help assess whether or not art still has the ability and the will to be relevant as critique. The symposium which is planned to accompany the exhibit will revolve around the issue of contemporary forms of critique in art and other cultural fields.

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