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.


Sind die #Allesdichtmachen-Videos gerechtfertigt?
Are the #Allesdichtmachen videos justifiable?

by Jennifer Wilton, Andreas Rosenfelder (25 Apr 2021)
Original source: Welt

One accusation against the actors who took part in the #allesdichtmachen action is that they have no empathy for the Corona patients. Andreas Rosenfelder shows from the reactions to the action that their critics lack empathy. The actors, on the other hand, have shown that they can empathise with the worries and needs of a society in a state of emergency.  Jennifer Wilton finds the action less convincing. She feels that the clips not only lack content, but for her the videos express mockery, irony and cynicism that affect people who have been living in cons tant fear for a year. 

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tag #allesdichtmachten Schauspieler*innen Empathie Satire Angst Unsicherheit
Performing Arts/ Cinema Statement

Beendet den kulturellen Notstand! . 100 Tage Kultur im Lockdown
Stop the cultural emergency! . 100 Days of Culture in Lockdown

by René Schlott (08 Feb 2021)
Original source: Deutschlandfunk Kultur

Cultural institutions in Germany have been closed for 100 days. The representatives of the interests of those working in the cultural sector are barely succeeding in making their voices heard. Emergency decisions such as the closure of all Berlin theaters until Easter are hailed as a victory for planning security, rather than a loss of cultural participation. Instead - as historian René Schlott notes with surprise - statements that fuel the closure of the theaters are increasingly heard in the media. For example, the cancellation of the Leipzig Book Fair was greet ed with hope in a Berlin newspaper as a sign that other major events will soon be canceled.Positive examples such as the successful staging of the Salzburg Festival are no longer mentioned.  On the last weekend in January, the mayor of Marseille, Benoît Payan, declared a »cultural state of emergency« as part of the »Théatres Ouverts« initiative. This must also be ended as quickly as possible in our country.

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tag kultureller Notstand Lockdown Theater Museen Planungssicherheit Benoît Payan Théatres Ouverts Berichterstattung
All sections Appell

So gefährlich war die Kunst noch selten . Aber der Kultur-Shutdown trifft uns alle
Art has rarely been so dangerous . But the culture shutdown affects us all

by Roman Bucheli (30 Dec 2020)
Original source: NZZ

Culture is currently banned from public space. This not only puts the livelihoods of cultural workers at risk, but is also a drastic experience for the community. The community lacks a place in which to experiment, formulate dissent, or test out ideas. Unlike in politics, the aim is not to assert one's own position, but to stimulate a discourse that forms a critical public sphere and thus drives the development of society. If it allows the individual to see the world with different eyes and to face the demands of everyday life more equanimously, an important task of culture is the humanization of society. Although art can also be enjoyed in isolation, it requires public space in order to help shape it. Karl Jaspers defined the public sphere as a prerequisite for truth, since the individual can only face up to debate in the public sphere. His disciple Hannah Arendt even spoke of the »venture of the public sphere«, since humanity can never be won in solitude. It takes public space to build a network of thoughts and relationships that encounter ideas from others and are considered before an audience. This is how a many-voiced conversation emerges. We are currently experiencing in online meetings that this is not possible in virtual space. The individual can cope with the absence of this analog exchange for a while, but society will break down in the long run.  

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tag Gemeinwesen Öffentlichkeit Humanität DiskursKarl Jaspers Hannah Arendt Widerspruch
All sections Kommentar

Die Seele leidet - Weihnachtszeit ohne Kulturveranstaltungen
The soul suffers - Christmas time without cultural events

by Maria Ossowski (26 Nov 2020)
Original source: Deutschlandfunk

The extension of the Lockdown light into December means renunciation for many people. By this, journalist Maria Ossowski does not primarily mean the cultural workers and restaurateurs, who are not allowed to offer their services in the last month of the year either. She is referring to the approximately nine million museum visitors or one and a half million people who attend an opera, theater, concert or reading in Germany each month - which they are currently not allowed to do, despite excellently prepared hygiene concerts. The cultural workers themselves - according to the subtext of the admonition of the North Rhine-Westphalian Minister of Culture Isabel Pfeiffer-Poensgen not to demand a special treatment again - are not entitled to defend themselves against the recent professional ban. After all, the November subsidies will be paid out at some point.

Ossowski proves that this argumentation is wrong. It is not a question of prohibition to work, nor is it a question of how Christmas can be celebrated in the family circle. Because this argumentation overlooks the fact that Christmas does not mean pure happiness for everyone. People who have to cope with family losses or separations, who live alone or are ill, often find the Christmas season a great emotional burden. For these people, culture provides solace in the pre-Christmas period. Many would therefore have done anything to give the pre-Christmas season an inner meaning through cultural events. The mental needs of these humans are put aside in favor of gifts and Christmas goose in the family circle, thereby we should be particularly concerned in the Advent about their well-being.

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tag Dezember-Lockdown Kulturveranstaltungen Advent Einsamkeit Trost Isabel Pfeiffer-Poensgen
All sections Kommentar

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....

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

»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.

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

Jagt den Krimi in die Luft! . Literatur und Corona
Blow up the thriller! . Literature and Corona

by Simone Buchholz (28 Oct 2020)
Original source: Zeit

Crises freeze time for a moment and divide our experience into a before and after. One of the central tasks of art is to tell about such times of crisis. One genre for which the crisis is a core element is the crime fiction,novel, and so it is not surprising that the German crime novelist Simone Buchholz reflects on a new orientation of the genre in the weekly newspaper »Die Zeit«.
In order to finally gain a firm place in the genre of society novels, the crime fiction would have to throw overboard a whole range of its previous characteristics, above al l a simplistic narrative and the German idyll. Instead, the new crime fiction must shake at the genre's boundaries, leave every safe haven and devote itself to the completely unknown. Only the individual can be at the center of such a new novel. The characteristics that Buchholz now lists are the human striving for knowledge, his sense of solidarity and an idea of social cohesion. This reads as if Faust was crossed with Gretchen. The new crime fiction novel should also be a contemporary witness and, in addition to documenting the state of the crisis, it should also document how the crisis was withstood.  
Is the genre abolishing itself? asks the experienced crime novelist at the end of her dream of a new crime fiction novel. We will know when her new novel is published.

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tag Corona-Roman Kriminalroman Neuausrichtung von der Krise erzählen Quo vadis ars
Literature/ Text Reflexion

Durchs Raster gefallen . Kulturschaffende in Coronakrise
Fallen through the cracks . the arts community during Corona crisis

by Sabine Seifert (29 Jul 2020)
Original source: taz

Three months after an initial conversation about her personal situation as an artist during the lockdown, Sabine Seifert meets again with a singer, a visual artist, an actor and a museum educator to talk with them about their experiences during the Corona crisis. The working conditions for the artists are still all but optimal, as the hygiene rules for all cultural fields of work entail restrictions. Many people appreciate the social network that is provided in Germany. Emergency aid and basic security have helped them to survive the last few months financ ially. However, applications for basic security have only increased by about a quarter. Due to the bad aura of basic security called Hartz IV, many people were reluctant to apply.
Even the applications for solo self-employed persons do not take into account the living and working conditions of artists even after three months. Seifert critically observes that in many federal states the cost of living may not be regarded as operating costs, but also the fact that in the second round applications may only be made by tax or accountants is completely ignoring the reality of small and medium-sized enterprises. Although the profession of an artist is fundamentally associated with uncertainty, the general conditions have currently changed radically. No one can predict with certainty how the pandemic will develop. When again which event format will be possible.
Olaf Zimmermann, Managing Director of the German Cultural Council, points out that the working structures on the cultural market have changed in recent years. Although there are fewer artists, there are more solo self-employed people in the field of cultural education, management and technology. Cultural policy has failed to counteract the precarious structures that have emerged here. Basically, according to Olaf Zimmermann, one should think about whether the classic concept of the entrepreneur still applies to artists and cultural workers - especially since they make an important contribution to society.

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tag Soforthilfe Grundsicherung Solidarität Verdi bbk Elisabeth Anschütz Sascha Oliver Bauer Ka Bomhardt Wilko Reinhold Olaf Zimmermann
All sections Bericht

Zurück aus dem Netz: Theater unter Corona-Auflagen
Back from the Web: Theatre under Corona Constraints

by Susanne Burkhardt, Elena Philipp (22 May 2020)
Original source: Deutschlandfunk Kultur

In the »Theatre podcast« by Deutschlandfunk, Susanne Burkhardt and Elena Philipp, theater critic Cornelia Fiedler and actor Matthias Wuttke investigate the limitations of the crisis and the opportunities that the reopening of houses can bring. Few houses have found ways to show current productions under the conditions of the lockdown. It turns out that theaters in Germany have developed many formats in recent decades that now enable corona-compatible forms of theater.

tag Theater Theaterformen Onlineangebote Hygieneregeln Cornelia Fiedler Matthias Wuttke
Performing Arts/ Cinema Podcast

Hygieneregeln . Dem Publikum stehen keine leichten Zeiten bevor
Hygiene Guidelines . The audience is not facing easy times.

by Jörg Häntzschel (19 May 2020)
Original source: Süddeutsche Zeitung

In the Süddeutsche Zeitung, Jörg Häntzschel takes a critical look at the hygiene rules that the Ministers of Culture of the federal states have drawn up together with Monika Grütters, federal Minister of State for Culture, for theaters, opera houses and concert halls. The many interventions and specifications for the operation of the theaters make it clear that even the reopening will be associated with heavy financial losses if the distance rule of 1.50 meters distance has to be implemented. In addition, not only the air conditioning technology must be adapted, but also the health of the visitors and the distance of the employees - i.e. the artistic actors on stage and during rehearsals - must be kept in mind. Only a small ray of hope remains here that the regulations are to apply to the whole of Germany and that not every federal state will introduce its own rules. But what concerns Häntzschel more than the concrete hygiene rules is the way in which artists are currently treated in political discourse. On the one hand, art is transfigured to a kind of »secular universal religion«, which is supposed to be a »therapy against loneliness, a weapon against populism and the humus of democracy«. The author sees a form of »cultural war economy« in the very detailed recommendations as to how the houses should fill the time until the resumption of play. After all, the paper shows little confidence in the creativity of the industry, which is not only given the marching orders by the ministers, but also the way to go.

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tag Theater Kino Oper Hygieneregeln Universalreligion Monika Grütters kulturelle Kriegswirtschaft
Performing Arts/ Cinema Bericht



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!

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