Deutscher Künstlerbund e.V.
© Michael Kress, VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2020
10.07.2020 until 28.08.2020

Conceived by María Linares and Michael Kress

Art & Politics / Politics & Art

Thursday, 9 July 2020 at 7pm
Deutscher Künstlerbund

In this difficult situation for artists, what was originally planned before the COVID crisis as a themed summer exhibition now takes on a new and urgent significance: What is art’s relation to politics? And what, conversely, is the position of politics with regard to art?

The street-level window display and the digital channels of the Deutscher Künstlerbund (Facebook, Instagram) will host interconnected prospects and views of the political. The exhibition »cancelled? Art & Politics / Politics & Art« uses the supposed summer break as a moment for utopias, political commentaries and wishes, as a special kind of democratic participation by art and artists.

How do artists view political landscapes?

What contribution can art make to political discourse?

As one of a multi-year, multi-theme series by the Deutscher Künstlerbund, in this exhibition members use posters as a means to create an open discussion on Europe and artistic freedom, on democracy and society, and on the COVID crisis. Approaches from the past and the present act as forms of public address and focus attention on the political poster.

The works on show were selected by a jury consisting of Metin Hakverdi (member of Germany’s parliament, the Bundestag), Janine Sack (artist, art director and publisher, Berlin), Brigitte Werneburg (fine art editor, taz newspaper, Berlin), and, for Deutscher Künstlerbund, María Linares (artist, Berlin) and Michael Kress (artist, Hamburg).

Jury statement:

»In these (corona) times, there is much talk of how politics can help art and culture. And the false impression is often created that there is a one-way relationship between the helping state and the artists in need of such assistance. Especially at this economically challenging moment, I would like the summer exhibition to foster a discussion about the two-way relationship between art and state. The freedom of art is always the precondition for a democratic society. Posters encourage public conversation. I am grateful to the Deutscher Künstlerbund for asking me to be part of the jury.« (Metin Hakverdi)


»I was especially interested in the range of submissions – from a reworked Bismarck Monument with a vacuum cleaner, to a self-questioning on the artist’s role, to documenting our current political moment. Reading across the selected posters, various messages can be found: ›I’m going to become Germany’s Chancellor. all we have. Have I got enough breath? No cue here.‹ I look forward too seeing them in situ!« (Janine Sack)


»Art is political whenever it shows the world as something that can be changed and encourages its audience to get involved. And it has the most effective tools and techniques for grabbing our attention. In this case, however, the poster is the tool of choice. It can make a direct appeal and say what needs to be done; but it can also play host to lateral thinking, giving rise to new ideas; or it evokes a dream, the mental state in which the unthinkable can be thought and the unheard-of is given a voice. Once again, the submissions to the Deutscher Künstlerbund summer exhibition showed how broad the range of potential issues is, and how many and varied the approaches to portraying them.« (Brigitte Werneburg)

Posters by the following artists have been selected for presentation in the window display at the Deutscher Künstlerbund:

Fritz Balthaus | Matthias Beckmann | Costantino Ciervo | Daniela Comani | Manuela Fersen | Helga Franz | Adib Fricke | Roland Fuhrmann | Rolf Giegold | Armin Hartenstein | Susanne Hegmann & Veit Grünert | Bernd Hennig | Constantin Jaxy | Uwe Jonas | Stefan Krüskemper & Michaela Nasoetion & Christiane ten Hoevel | Jürgen Liefmann | Jub Mönster | Christina Paetsch | Tyyne Claudia Pollmann | Stefan Saffer | Andreas Schmid | Eva-Maria Schön | Klaus Staeck | Alexander Voß | Herbert Wentscher | Julia Wenz.

Subject to modifications.

> Direction