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.


Darum ist Liefers' Kritik so wichtig!
This is why Liefer's critique is so imporant!

by Ralf Schuler (25 Apr 2021)
Original source: Bild

In his commentary, Schuler points to parallels between the actors' contributions to #allesdichtmachten and the strategies of dissidents in the GDR. The ironic exaggeration in Jan Josef Liefer's contribution in particular resembles that of a submissive party obeisance, which at the same time undermines the party line. With this East German perspective in mind, Schuler points out: "Perhaps in the end it really is the biographical background that makes people more sensitive to the mechanisms of conformity pressure, which today no longer emanate from a repressiv e state apparatus, but more and more often from a political-media group dynamic."

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tag #allesdichtmachten DDR Gruppendynamik Schauspieler*innen 1989
Performing Arts/ Cinema Kommentar

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

»Bei Öffnungen muss die Kultur dabei sein«
»Easings need to include culture«

by Carsten Brosda, Daniel Kaiser (11 Feb 2021)
Original source: NDR Kultur

The politicians' promise to present a step-by-step plan for a way out of the lockdown in mid-February was not fulfilled. Some ministers of culture have submitted a proposal that was not taken into account in the federal and state consultations. The question of how efficient the lockdown and the measures associated with it are is being raised more and more loudly. In an interview with NDR, Hamburg's Senator for Culture calls for a little patience. He hopes that the proposed gradual regulation for the opening of cultural institutions will also be implemented in par allel with retail and restaurants, also because of the excellent hygiene concepts in the institutions, so that culture is not disadvantaged as it was last autumn. In this context, he can hardly understand why the opening of hairdressing salons is currently being given priority. At the same time, he is concerned about the long-term consequences for cultural workers of the extension of the lockdown. At least in Hamburg, he does not see the financing of cultural institutions in jeopardy for the next two years. However, there will be no return to a cultural landscape like before the crisis, if only because the ranks of the players are thinning out.

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tag Lockdown Öffnung Kulturfinanzierung Friseursalons stiller Tod Perspektive
All sections Interview

Aufgestaute Kreativität . Klassik-Profis in der Pandemie
Pent up creativity . Classic professionals in the pandemic

by Frederik Hanssen (02 Feb 2021)
Original source: Tagesspiegel

At the annual press conference of the German Orchestral Association this year, everything revolved around the nationwide silence in theaters and concert halls. Although short-time work is securing jobs in many city and state theaters and, with the exception of a few municipalities, no budget cuts have yet been felt this year, managing director Gerald Mertens urges that the houses must be opened as soon as possible. Thereby not country-wide incidence values should be taken as a basis, but those of the respective district. This early new start is especially important for f reelance musicians, who have been without income for almost a year. According to a representative survey, around 30 percent are already considering a change of profession. A temporary suspension of the artists' social security fund could help this professional group through the crisis. In the long term, an unemployment insurance system should be considered, which could be modeled according to the bad weather allowance of the construction industry, in order to avoid a similar critical situation in the future.

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tag Deutschen Orchestervereinigung Kurzarbeit stiller Tod Planungssicherheit Inzidenzwert Künstlersozialkasse Arbeitslosenversicherung
Music Bericht

Die Literaturszene verliert ihre Foren . Absage der Leipziger Buchmesse
The literary scene loses its forums . Cancellation of the Leipzig Book Fair

by Helmut Böttiger (29 Jan 2021)
Original source: Deutschlandfunk Kultur

The Leipzig Book Fair will not take place in 2021 either. Even the postponement to the beginning of May seems untenable for a major event. For the industry in transition, the cancellation is a painful loss, not only financially, because what is currently understood as literature and how it is talked about has changed noticeably. Today, literature is a small market segment of the so-called culture industry and is no longer a place of debate about aesthetic standards and socio-political issues.  An indicator for this is the announcement of the WDR to go new ways in li terature reviews. The book fair would have offered publishers and authors a forum to exchange ideas about this structural crisis.

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tag Buchmesse Literaturkritik Verlage Event Quo vadis ars
Literature/ Text Kommentar

Zauber der lebenden Bilder . 125 Jahre Kino
The magic of tableaux vivants

by Andreas Busche (28 Dec 2020)
Original source: Tagesspiegel

To mark the anniversary of the first cinema showing on 28 December 1895, cinemas will be closed in almost all countries this year. The industry is therefore not in the mood to celebrate. In the Tagesspiegel, Andreas Busche reflects on the current situation of the industry on the occasion of the anniversary.
A premiere took place at Christmas: Warner and Disney released films without a theatrical release for the first time. The era of the blockbuster is thus coming to an end. Whether the new James Bond will draw audiences to the cinema next year remains open to que stion. In 2020, the combination of streaming services and the pandemic has taken an extreme toll on the industry. Currently, film theatres are only getting through the crisis with state support. This is not only because the film theatre has lost the aura that surrounded it in the early 20th century. At present, instead of euphoria, there is often a sense of mistrust towards the people sitting in the cinema with them. However - as Busche reminds us - cinema has always depended on a mixed calculation. For example, the factory owner Stollwerk realised early on that selling chocolate in the cinema hall would boost business. Today, cinema operators have to offer chocolate, nachos and cola to survive because ticket sales alone do not pay off.
The crisis of the cinema is proclaimed at regular intervals. Busche is therefore sure that it will survive this crisis, too - but he is not one of the optimists who hope that the pandemic could be a corrective for undesirable developments of past decades.

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tag Kino Streaming Blockbuster Misstrauen Krise als Chance
Performing Arts/ Cinema Bericht

Schauspielhaus-Intendant Stemann: «Uns ist die Fähigkeit abhandengekommen, mit anderen Menschen mitzufühlen»

by Julia Stephan, Nicolas Stemann (22 Dec 2020)
Original source: Tagblatt

Working creatively and productively with the resistances that the Corona crisis means for theater professionals, that is the trademark of Nicolas Stemann, the co-director of the Schauspielhaus Zürich. Already last spring, he accompanied life during the pandemic critically and humorously at the same time with columns for the Neue Zürcher Zeitung and the 'Corona Passion Plays'. In his home office he wrote songs for the Passion Plays, as it was not possible for him to discuss developments during the suspended rehearsals. Nevertheless, he also sees the nega tive sides of the pandemic. Workflows have to be rethought, premieres postponed, casts minimized, schedules rescheduled - of course, this also means a great burden. On the one hand, this increases the workload for many, and on the other hand, it is extremely stressful, especially for actors, if they cannot rehearse with a goal in mind. This is one of the reasons why the Schauspielhaus Zurich very successfully offers a live-streamed performance once a week. 
It is important for Stemann to emphasize that the theaters consider the closure of the houses to be an important contribution to the fight against the pandemic. His only concern is that it may have too little impact by placing too few restrictions in other areas. With regard to the concerns and problems of people during the pandemic, he considers art and culture to be extremely important in order to negotiate the open questions together in a discussion space and to find an outlet for emotions. The fact that this is not available at the moment, but that instead emotions such as hatred and incomprehension are acted out in social networks, is for him one of the major problems of the theater closures.

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tag Theater Tod Streaming Arbeitsalltag psychische Belastung Quo vadis ars
Performing Arts/ Cinema Interview

Mein Europa: Ohne Kunst und Kultur wird's still
My Europe: Without art and culture it will be quiet.

by Carmen-Francesca Banciu (20 Nov 2020)
Original source: Deutsche Welle

With the reference "Without art and culture it will be quiet", cultural workers are currently drawing attention to the existential threat to the cultural industry posed by the corona lockdown, an industry that was already precarious before the crisis.  But what does this mean in concrete terms?
The writer Carmen-Francesca Banciu makes it clear in her column at Deutsche Welle with an appeal by Nancy Bass Wyden, the owner of the New York Strand Book Shop on the corner of 12th Street and Broadway: »We need help.« Institutions like the world -famous antiquarian bookstore are facing the end of their existence in the face of the consequences of Corona if they do not receive support. This does not only apply to the Strand Book Shop but also to the »Dussmann in Berlin, Dom Knigi in St. Petersburg, Dominicans in Maastricht, Libreria Aqua Alta in Venice, Atlantic Books on Santorini, Livraria Lello & Irmao in Porto, Desperate Literatur in Madrid, Carturesti in Bucharest« - the list could be extended by many, many more bookstores, cultural department stores or record stores. All of these are places where not only books were sold, but also meeting places for authors, musicians, artists, readers, critics and all other culture enthusiasts. Places which, because of their special atmosphere, became the backdrop for films and whose charisma not only represents the European spirit, but which also became a spiritual home for their visitors. This cannot be captured by streaming music or theater performances. This is why the statement »Without art and culture it will be quiet« is so important at the moment: When the world becomes quiet, according to Carmen-Francesca Banciu, it becomes dark within us. This must be avoided.

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tag Buchhandlungen Kulturkaufhäuser Streaming geistige Heimat Prekariat Strand Book Shop New York
All sections Gastkolumne

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.

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

So werden wir die Welt nicht retten
This is not how we will save the world

by Cornelius Meister (29 Oct 2020)
Original source: Staatsoper Stuttgart

Failure of the German society is diagnosed by the General Music Director of the Stuttgart State Opera, Cornelius Meister, in his statement on the current situation in the Corona crisis. On the one hand the society did not manage to stop the virus, on the other hand it could not give the politicians any confidence that a differentiated decision would be handled responsibly. And so cultural institutions where no infections have been detected are now being taken into collective custody - worse still, they are being categorized under "leisure facilities". This blac k and white thinking is dangerous, and who if not culture could counteract it? The humanistic tradition, which Cornelius Meister advocates, means not only differentiated action on the part of politics, but at the same time a way of dealing with one another that is characterized by mindfulness. Only in this way can the physical and mental health of our fellow human beings be protected. A "cultureless November", on the other hand, will not save the world

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tag November-Lockdown gemeinsame Verantwortung schwarz-weiß Denken Freizeiteinrichtungen Kollektivhaft
Performing Arts/ Cinema Statement



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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