What can art achieve at a time when people are fleeing to Europe from war and terror, when a pandemic is bringing the economy and social life to a standstill worldwide, marking crisis situations that are spreading ever further?
In these times, the arts, with their fine sensors and anticipatory thinking, function like seismographs, sensing and anticipating much of what the general public only learns about after a delay. Artists cannot solve the crises, but they can sharpen the eye for them.
Does art thus have a system-relevant function?
The term systemic relevance, which originally comes from financial policy, has expanded its meaning under the impression of the pandemic that has held us in its grip since last year to include all sectors and occupational groups. The entire society is affected in a far-reaching and global way. But to what extent does the concept of systemic relevance also apply to art?
System relevance always implies its flip side: system-ir-relevance, that is, all that is considered dispensable. But what would society look like if everything that is not system-relevant were to disappear? Art is also vital, because it is not only a living component of society, but also its mirror, reflecting constant change. Art is influenced by cultural changes, and it in turn changes culture and society.
Therefore, art is always relevant to the system.
In the premises of the Lachenmann Art Gallery in Frankfurt am Main, the following nine artists* have been invited to the exhibition ART IN CRISIS? Prof. Parastou Forouhar (Kunsthochschule Mainz, requested), Betty Rieckmann (Karlsruhe), Anastasia Khoroshilova (Berlin/Moscow), Daniel Kannenberg (Berlin), Albrecht Wild (Frankfurtam Main/ DavisKlemmGallery Wiesbaden), Römer + Römer (Berlin), Robert Schittko (Offenbach am Main), Niklas Klotz (Linz/Austria) and Deniz Alt (Frankfurt am Main).
In their works, the artists* in the exhibition focus on the human being who lives and loves as part of society and who, in times of crises, must constantly reorient himself and adapt his living conditions. Among other things, the question of a dignified life under extreme circumstances is discussed in many artistic ways.
Using a broad spectrum of artistic positions - from painting to photography, film to large-scale installations - the artists* not only point to the systemic relevance of art in society, they also articulate the responsibility of human beings for their actions and the importance of the search for new ethics in the face of crises in society. They show that every crisis also holds the hope of a change towards the positive and hold out the prospect of the democratic-healing effect of art after crises. For art today is not only determined by itself, but also and above all by social developments. This holds out the chance for art to actually possess a socially transformative power.