Quo vadis ars?

The situation in the cultural sector has been described and discussed in numerous interviews, corona diaries, comments and reports in the past few weeks. Our annotated collection of currently 193 sources gathers voices from different sectors and media. This creates a picture of the cultural landscape in crisis, whose temporal transformation can be explored interactively via a dedicated tag cloud.


Lockdown mit Nebenwirkungen . Kultur auf Abtand
Lockdown with side effects . Culture at bay

by Claudia Kuhland, Marion Ammicht (08 Nov 2020)
Original source: ttt - titel themen tempramente

After a week of lockdown for the arts, the ARD cultural magazine provides an overview of the reactions of cultural workers to the closure of the institutions. The opening quote by the Minister for Culture and Science in NRW, Isabel Pfeiffer-Poensgen, is symptomatic of the way the scene is handled. Culture is accused of violating the social consensus; the existential needs of many freelance artists, but also of the many companies dependent on the industry and solo self-employed are hardly heard. It is therefore not surprising that theater directors, museum directors, and managers of concert halls are now harshly criticizing political decisions - especially since offers of discussion are not heard from their side. The fact that especially in »our attacked democracy« the voice of art and culture must not be overheard is something that theatre director Karin Beier, for example, warns against, and perhaps implicitly gives a reason why Germans currently prefer to be sent shopping rather than to the theater or museum.

Read More Read Less

tag November-Lockdown #AlarmstufeRot #sangundklanglos Solidarität Isabel Pfeiffer-Poensgen
All sections Bericht

»Wir sollten uns nicht hyperüberschätzen« . Amelie Deuflhard zum Theater-Lockdown
»We should not hyper-overestimate ourselves« . Amelie Deuflhard about the theatre lockdown

by Amelie Deuflhard, Vladimir Balzer (05 Nov 2020)
Original source: Deutschlandfunk Kultur

Planning reliability is what cultural institutions need most urgently at the moment. The employees at many institutions continue to work, but the feeling of producing into a void is a great burden for many. Amelie Deuflhard, artistic director of the 'Kampnagel' theatre in Hamburg, does not want to follow the suggestion of the artistic director of the Schaubühne, Thomas Ostermeier. Just in solidarity with the free theaters, the houses must continue to be played in, even if the situation is uncertain. Nevertheless, she would also like planning reliability, bec ause if a closure beyond November was already determined now, then the houses could consider alternative concepts for their spaces and use the closure for conceptual considerations. Although Deuflhard believes that many theaters in Germany are on the right track, she nevertheless warns that the theater in the present time still appeals to the educated middle classes. Developing new concepts here, also leaving the traditional spaces, addressing target groups and working on the diversification of the theater are some of the tasks that could be tackled. She even goes to that lenghts in times of crisis as to suggest other meaningful tasks for the theater staff - reading aloud in nursing homes, helping out at the health department.
Of course, the state-subsidized institutions in the present are much more likely to allow a positive view of the future than privately run institutions and solo self-employed persons. The precarious employments of the freelancers are also on Deuflhard's imaginary to-do list for crisis closure. Here, however, politics would also have to get involved and consider how to provide rescue for this group to help them survive such a crisis. Here, an unconditional basic income or a solidarity fund are just two ways of stabilizing the sector so that it does not collapse again if a new crisis occurs. It should also be borne in mind that bureaucracy can be reduced as much as possible.  
Finally, she points out that all international cooperation is currently frozen. This means that not only an important form of cultural exchange is missing, in many countries there is also no support for artists during the crisis.

Read More Read Less

tag Theater Planungssicherheit Privilegien Kultur als Chance Grundeinkommen Demokratisierung Solo-Selbständige
Performing Arts/ Cinema Gespräch

Geld ist im Übermaß vorhanden . Corona-Hilfen für Künstler
Money is available in abundance . Corona aids for artists

by Herbert Grönemeyer (04 Nov 2020)
Original source: Zeit

The musician Herbert Grönemeyer reevaluates the »Unterhaltung« as German expression for entertainment,  interpreting  the term as "holding from below". Here people find help and confidence when they are sad or frustrated. But they can also express their joy. Due to the absence of live performances, the audience is deprived of this valve. No more refuge or substitute world. Reality remains and with it spaces for stupidity and crude theories. The soul of the society is endangered and consequently the social cohesion as a whole. The impa ct on the existence of the many workers who make live events possible in the first place is in this understanding only a symptom of the erosion of society. How to counteract this process? How to ensure that live events are possible again after the crisis? This is where Grönemeyer now becomes very concrete: These people must not be forced to touch their old-age provision. Help must be available to them quickly and without complications.
But how could this help look like? In this case Grönemeyer is not asking the state to help, but is suggesting an alternative: Just as in a natural catastrophe the family helps a person affected, so in the current crisis a sign of solidarity is needed. According to the musician, this should come from the 1.8 million millionaires in Germany.This gesture would not only help the cultural workers whose existence is threatened, but it would also strengthen social cohesion and counteract the division that has been observed for decades.
Interestingly, Grönemeyer's statement lacks a convincing argument: He would have to set a shining example of solidarity by making a generous donation - he too is one of Germany's millionaires....

Read More Read Less

tag Kulturbetrieb Solidarität Millionäre Seele der Gesellschaft Zusammenhalt Liveevent Quo vadis ars
All sections Kommentar

Stille mit Vorsatz . Verbale Aufrüstung schlägt nötige Differenzierung: zur Kritik der Kulturbranche am zweiten Shutdown
Silence with intent . Verbal armament beats necessary differentiation: on the culture industry's criticism of the second shutdown

by Hartmut Welscher, Christian Koch (04 Nov 2020)
Original source: VAN Magazin für klassische Musik

The fact that the November lockdown hits art and culture hard, even though excellent hygiene concepts were developed to protect the public, divides the cultural world in Germany. The displeasure was expressed in open letters and articles in newspapers and social media. Only a few balanced voices can be heard at present. Federal and state governments are not innocent of this situation, as they have caused displeasure by failing to provide adequate justification as to which cultural and economic sectors are to be closed and which may remain open. As was already the case in March, many cultural workers feel offended by politics being assigned to professions that are not systemically relevant. So they feel that their function for society is not valued. Many now joined the statement of the trumpeter Tim Brönner, who complained that the cultural industry had no lobby, and tried to make themselves heard. The verbal armament, however, conceals the fact that the pandemic constitutes a twofold threat to artists: in addition to the material threat, many of them increasingly find themselves in a crisis of identity when they are no longer allowed to perform or interact with an audience. And so artists are currently making themselves heard loud and clear, but are still unable to find their way around.This applies not only to culture, but also to politics, which is currently more likely to stumble forward than to steer the processes in a targeted manner.  And so the authors feel uncomfortable when Finance Minister Olaf Scholz keeps granting new aid programs. Public funds are limited, and the first municipalities are already making cuts.
For the cultural industry, the question now is where the development is heading. There will hardly be a return to the status quo-especially since it was not a good one before the crisis. At the beginning of the pandemic, many musicians were happy to have escaped the »hamster wheel of global competition and competitive pressure«. Can't quantity leave the field to quality? In this way, the cultural sector could at the same time make its contribution to solving the ecological question.

Read More Read Less

tag Klassik Musikbranche November-Lockdown Lagerbildung Lobby Sinnkrise Existenzkrise Quo vadis ars Stille Hamsterrad
Music Bericht

»Wir brauchen mehr Klarheit« . Theaterintendant über Lockdown-Folgen
. Theater director about lockdown consequences

by Christian Stückl, Sabine Leucht (02 Nov 2020)
Original source: taz

Ten Bavarian theaters sought dialogue with the Bavarian Prime Minister Markus Söder last week. They did not receive an answer to their letter - whether this was only because the lockdown light was already in prospect remains open. Apart from Munich's Head of Cultural Affairs, nobody has reviewed the hygiene concepts of Munich's Volkstheater, as director Christian Stückl reports in an interview. Stückl sees the problem of the new lockdown on the one hand in the fact that the facilities which are not among the drivers of infection are now being close d. In contrast to the retail trade, culture is probably not loud enough when it comes to defending its interests. On the other hand, politicians seem to be relying on the fact that it is precisely the large institutions that are subsidized by the state and will therefore be less affected by the crisis. The fact that the many solo self-employed and the entire independent scene are in danger is often ignored.
The Munich ensembles have now asked the decision-makers for a debate on the proportionality of the measures. Whether this offer of discussion will be accepted is still open. But Stückl is already thinking aloud about whether otherwise a lawsuit would not be the right way forward.
As yet, the houses are not yet short of visitors, partly because of the reduced quotas. However, Stückl fears a de-familiarization effect if the facilities remain closed for longer. What is much worse, however, are the effects of the crisis on the artists. He reports on a conversation with a dancer who has only a few years to practice his art. If he can't dance in front of an audience now, there's no making up for it.

Read More Read Less

tag Theater München Dialog mit der Politik Markus Söder November-Lockdown Verhältnismäßigkeit Lebensrelevanz
Performing Arts/ Cinema Interview

Der Ton macht die Musik . Offener Brief der GMD- und Chefdirigent*innenkonferenz
It's not what you say, but how you say it. . Open letter of the conference of General Music Directors and Chief Conductors

by GMD- und Chefdirigent*innenkonferenz (02 Nov 2020)
Original source: concerti

The theaters and concert halls have lived up to their responsibility to the public with excellent hygiene concepts. The reward, however, is not solidarity, but the renewed "muting" of culture, decreed by a state that does not live up to its responsibility for pupils, who nevertheless travel in crowded buses and trains and are taught in poorly ventilated classrooms every day.
The GMD and the Chief Conductor's Conference is very angry, as the promises of support in recent months can only be understood as lip service in view of the recent lockdown and t he degradation to a recreational facility. The ruthlessness not so much towards the institutions as towards the people working in and for them, who are to some extent robbed of their identity, is very painful and cannot be compensated with money.

Read More Read Less

tag November-Lockdown Musikschulen Freizeiteinrichtungen Verantwortung Ausfallhonorare guter Ton
Music Offener Brief

Stellungnahme der Kunstmuseen zur geplanten coronabedingten Schließung
Statement of the art museums on the planned closure due to corona

by Kunstmuseen (01 Nov 2020)
Original source: art-in.de

German museum directors, mainly from North Rhine-Westphalia, take a clear stand on the unexpected lockdown.For them, the closure of the museums, which they see primarily as educational institutions, is merely a »symbolic gesture« and ultimately a »wrong decision«, since museums are among the safest public places because of the measures taken.

tag Museen November-Lockdown Verhältnismäßigkeit
Visual Arts/Design Statement

»Gottesdienst der Künste« im Thalia Theater

by Daniel Kaiser (01 Nov 2020)
Original source: NDR

Creative protests against the November lockdown started in Hamburg on November 1. Together with the two churches, Hamburg's cultural institutions celebrated a "cultural service" at the Thalia Theater. The structure of the service was recorded and imaginatively filled with artistic and religious content. Since the cultural institutions will be closed for the next few weeks, the religions, whose task it has always been to provide comfort and confidence in times of mourning, were now called upon. In his sermon, Sieghard Wilm pointed out that the virus should n ot drive people into loneliness, but rather should encourage them to be together and love their neighbor. In the intercessions, the Senator for Culture, Carsten Brosda, made his pleas to society - including the hope that the role of the arts would also be recognized in Bavaria and the Uckermark region. Criticism of politics was also expressed in other respects. The fact that cultural institutions were mentioned in the same breath as amusement parks and brothels hurt the pride of the scene. In Hamburg, anger, desperation, rebellion and comprehension were creatively transformed into a convincing artistic project. It is comforting to know that culture does not go into freeze mode, but uses its means to defend itself.

Read More Read Less

tag Theater Kultur-Gottesdienst Solidarität künstlerischer Protest November-Lockdown Hamburg Carsten Brosda
Performing Arts/ Cinema Bericht

»Es fühlt sich an wie eine Bestrafung und Verhöhnung« . Kommentar zum Theater-Lockdown
»Es fühlt sich an wie eine Bestrafung und Verhöhnung«

by Dorothea Marcus (31 Oct 2020)
Original source: Deutschlandfunk Kultur

Theater critic Dorothea Marcus spoke with Wilma Renfordt, dramaturge of the NRW-Impulse-Festival, and Stefan Bachmann, director of the Schauspiel Köln. Although both are frustrated by the recent closures, they do not criticize the lockdown, but rather see it as a solidary contribution by the theaters. The independent critic cannot agree with these statements. Rather, she speaks of a slap in the face for culture, which - in contrast to slaughterhouses and shopping centers, church services and the train - must now close again, despite almost chumming up efforts for ex cellent hygiene concepts. However, she finds the new lockdown for culture alarming, not because it does not affect so many others, but because she does not believe it will be effective. This in turn undermines the acceptance of the measures in society. The many parties in the last few days speak for themselves. Corona deniers will feel encouraged. This not only endangers health, but also social peace. With the closures, hotbeds of fire will be set, which will perhaps occupy us much longer than the Corona crisis.

Read More Read Less

tag Theater November-Lockdown Unterhaltung Verständnislosigkeit gesellschaftlicher Friede Wilma Renfordt Stefan Bachmann
Performing Arts/ Cinema Kommentar

Diese Entscheidung trifft die Falschen . Shutdown für Kultureinrichtungen
This decision affects the wrong people . Shutdwon for cultural institutions

by Maria Ossowski (29 Oct 2020)
Original source: rbb24

Not only lack of understanding, but above all anger is great among all creative artists and culture enthusiasts in Germany. For one month, all facilities have to close, despite the fact that sophisticated hygiene concepts have made them the safest places to be during the pandemic. Maria Ossowski - herself a member of the high-risk group, by the way - feels at home there and in her commentary sums up the lack of understanding: Because the governments have not been able to get a grip on the infection and especially on party culture, culture must now pay for it again.  So this measures sound the death knell for many smaller cultural institutions.
Ossowski derives why culture cannot be an exception from the following three points: First, politics is currently populist, driven and relies on no studies. Secondly, it is assumed that artists do not fight back, but rather hire themselves from the nearest supermarket out of existential need. Thirdly, many retailers and businesses will not survive the crisis, so why should the gross value added in the cultural industry be taken into account?
In this way, the importance of culture is being trampled underfoot not only for the individual, but for our entire society.

Read More Read Less

tag Existenzrelevanz Lebensrelevanz November-Lockdown Partykultur Hygienekonzepte Infektionsketten
All sections Kommentar



The signet of facing arts joining the faces of STORM.

Facing arts is a non-profi project. Feel free to support it and get in touch with us!

The Team

Facing arts is a projet by STORM.

STORM is an acronym playing with the initials by Miriam Seidler & Tim Otto Roth, who are hit both by the Corona crisis. Dr. Miriam Seidler is a scholar in German literature and currently works as specialist in public relations. Dr. Tim Otto Roth is a scholar in art and science history and works as a conceptual artist and composer. He is known for his huge projects in public space, cooperations with leading scientific institutions and his immersive sound and light installations. Miriam and Tim collaborate regularly for years. With facing arts they reaslize their first common art project.
You find more informatin on both initiators on www.miriamseidler.de and www.imachination.net.

Special thanks to Paco Croket for the tag cloud programming!

Getting in touch

Get in touch

Write an email to
or use the following form to contact us:



Privacy Notice

The content of this website has been carefully prepared and reviewed. However, it does not guarantee the accuracy, completeness or quality of the information provided, or that it is up-to-date. Liability claims against the publisher in respect of material or immaterial damage caused by the use or non-use of the information offered or by inaccurate or incomplete information are in principle ruled out provided that there is no provable culpable intent or gross negligence on the institute's part.
The publisher reserves the right to alter, amend or delete parts of the site or the entire offering, or to cease publication, without prior notice.

Where the publisher provides direct or indirect references (i.e. links) to external websites, it is liable only if the publisher has precise knowledge of the content and if it is technically possible and reasonable for it to prevent use in the event that they contain unlawful content.
The publisher expressly states that the linked websites had no illegal content when the links were set up. It has no influence whatsoever on the current and future design of the linked sites and hereby distances itself expressly from any alterations to the content that were made after the links to those sites were set up.
The Publisher is not responsible for the content, availability, correctness or accuracy of the linked sites or of the offerings, links or advertisements therein. It is not liable for illegal, incorrect or incomplete content or in particular for damages arising from the use or non-use of the information provided on linked sites.

In all publications, the publisher endeavours to comply with applicable copyrights. If, in spite of this, an infringement of copyright should occur, the publisher will after notification remove the relevant object from its publication or indicate the appropriate copyright. All brand names and trademarks mentioned within the Internet offering that are possibly protected by third parties are without limitation subject to the provisions of the law on trademarks and related signs and the property rights of the registered owners. The mere fact that they have been mentioned should not be taken to mean that trademarks are not protected by third-party rights.

Privacy Policy
The use of the internet pages of www.facingscience.net is possible without any indication of personal data; however, if a data subject wants to use the contact form or image upload form of our website, processing of personal data could become necessary. If the processing of personal data is necessary and there is no statutory basis for such processing, we generally obtain consent from the data subject.