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 188 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.


 

Kultur ist kein Sahnehäubchen . Warum wir Theater, Kino und Buchhandlungen jetzt sofort öffnen müssen
Culture is not icing on the cake . Why we need to open theaters, cinemas and bookstores right now

by Alexander Skipis (23 Feb 2021)
Original source: FAZ

Applying the concept of catharsis introduced by Aristotle in his Poetics, Alexander Skipis, Chief Executive of the German Publishers & Booksellers Association, goes back very far in cultural history to describe the impact of the pandemic on the population. The release of strong feelings through reflection and witnessing in art and literature is only possible to a very limited extent during the lockdown. Even as policymakers attempt to compensate for the economic losses suffered by cultural producers, they fail to provide the consumer relief functions paraphrased by t he term catharsis. Skipis therefore combines his plea for the rapid opening of cultural institutions and bookstores with a warning about the mental damage to society that the pandemic has already triggered and the extent of which cannot yet be foreseen.

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tag Lockdown Systemrelevanz Katharsis
All sections Kommentar

»Diese Selbstverständlichkeit ist passé!« . Neustart des Musiklebens
»This matter of course is passé!« . Restart of the musical life

by Marie König, Frauke Roth (15 Feb 2021)
Original source: Deutschlandfunk

Although an opening prospect is not yet in sight, but subscribers are already waiting impatiently for the start of concerts at the Dresden Philharmonic. How the upcoming concerts might look, however, is still unclear. At the moment, no tickets are being sold, as the experience of last year has created a great deal of uncertainty for everyone involved. Nevertheless, the artistic director of the Dresden Philharmonic, Marie König, is looking positively into the future. Not only does her house have an excellent ventilation system, but last fall also showed that visitors are taking advantage of the event dates on offer. If a checkerboard pattern could be offered to the audience, then the sense of community that is created at a concert could also be re-established.
As a long-term consequence for the concert business, she sees that the belief in planning security - both in terms of performances and for tours - has been permanently shaken. The long planning cycles that existed before the crisis will no longer exist after the crisis. There will also be increased attention to the fact that events where many people come together in small spaces will not take place for a while. In Dresden, for example, the concert introduction will no longer be offered as a face-to-face event, but as a podcast.

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tag Lockdown Öffnung Programmplanung Schachbrettmuster Dresdner Philharmonie gemeinschaftliches Erlebnis
Music Interview

»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

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

Ein Jahr ohne Werke . Was es für das Musikleben bedeutet, wenn Verlage um ihr Überleben kämpfen
A year without pieces . What it means for musical life when publishing houses fight for their survival

by Merle Krafeld (03 Feb 2021)
Original source: VAN Magazin für klassische Musik

Music publishers play an important role in the cultural ecosystem. Not only do they promote the work of composers, but they also produce well thought-out sheet music in individual parts, ensure good binding quality of the sheet music and produce new editions of historical works. To do this, they conduct study of sources and work with scientific precision. The publishers therefore generate income not only from the sale of sheet music, but above all from the lending of scores of mostly copyrighted works to orchestras and choirs. The rental fees are made up of various facto rs such as the length and instrumentation of the work, the number of performances and seats available for sale. Last year, the turnover from rental fees for music publishers collapsed by up to 80 per cent. In addition to lending fees, publishers and rights holders also lost income from distributions by the German Performing Rights Society (GEMA) and foreign collecting societies as well as the German Music Edition Society (VG Musikedition). Since royalties are usually only paid out in the following year, the loss of income will not be felt until 2021. Publishers who specialise in choral music are also particularly affected, as it is not foreseeable here when rehearsals can be resumed. In the lockdown, only the purchase of individual parts and chamber music with small ensembles boomed. Henle-Verlag, which serves this segment with an app, among other things, is the only publishing house that recorded an increase in turnover in 2020.
As long as there is no planning security in the cultural sector, the sale and rental of sheet music will not increase. The staff of the publishing houses are therefore currently on short-time work and at the same time working flat out to offer works with a small line-up.
Many publishers are currently falling through the cracks of the aid payments because they are either too small or too big. The Neustart Kultur programme can compensate for turnover losses from the rental sector, but only 30 per cent of the lost turnover from April to November 2020, against which aid already received, such as short-time allowance, must be offset. So in the end, the aid is just a drop in the ocean.

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tag Musikverlage GEMA Planungssicherheit Chormusik Leihverkehr Kurzarbeit Neustart Kultur
Music Bericht

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

Diese Normalität darf nicht zurückkehren . Am Sinn für tatsächliche Relevanz herrscht im Kulturbetrieb erschreckender Mangel
This normality must not return . There is a frightening lack of a sense of actual relevance in the culture industry

by Peter Grabowski (01 Feb 2021)
Original source: Politik & Kultur

With a persistently high incidence value, Yilmaz Dziewior, the director of the Museum Ludwig, expressed the assumption in a mid-January interview on Deutschlandfunk that the museums will reopen in mid-February. In his commentary, Peter Grabowski takes this statement as an opportunity to reflect on the overconfidence of cultural workers in Germany. Democracy is not in danger just because the public is not allowed into museums and theatres. These are leisure facilities. Central social issues have long since ceased to be negotiated in a leading role in cultural institutions . Social media and the mass media play a much more central role in discourse here. Therefore, Grabowski calls on cultural practitioners to leave their ivory tower, acknowledge the reality of the pandemic and think about how cultural institutions can regain more relevance in society.

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tag Kulturszene Relevanz Selbstüberschätzung Yilmaz Dziewior Quo vadis ars Lockdown
All sections Kommentar

Kulturaufstand in Frankreich . Eine Stunde Theater trotz Lockdown
Cultural Uprising in France . One hour theatrer despite lockdown

by Eberhard Spreng, Eckhard Roelcke (30 Jan 2021)
Original source: Deutschlandfunk Kultur

The mayor of Marseille Benoît Payan, together with other cities and independent theaters, has called for civil disobedience: Theaters should play for one hour in the afternoon. The initiative »Théatres Ouverts«  originally comes from smaller theaters. The mayor of Marseille, Benoît Payan, took up the initiative and thus ensured a large public. In Avignon, where the initiative originated, the short-term opening of the theater was prevented by the police. In other places, poems were read or tango danced.
The contribution of Beno&i circ;t Payan is the announcement of a manifesto that advocates the opening of theaters. The idea is to play mainly outdoors in the south of France to minimize the risk of contagion. The »hour of disobedience« is directed primarily against the government in Paris and here above all against President Emmanuel Macron, who currently pays little attention to culture. However, the attitude of Benoît Payan is very ambivalent, since in the middle of the week he was still urging to follow the rules to contain the pandemic due to the increase in infections.

 

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tag Theater Freie Szene ziviler Ungehorsam Théatres Ouverts Benoît Payan
Performing Arts/ Cinema Interview

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

Leipziger Buchmesse abgesagt
Leipzig Book Fair canceled

by Martin Hoferick (29 Jan 2021)
Original source: Kulturzeit

A major event is currently hardly plannable and so it is not surprising that the director of the Leipzig Book Fair, Oliver Zille, announced this week with a heavy heart the cancellation of this year's fair. Precisely because Leipzig relies on so many forms of encounter, the fair is hardly safe to hold this year. A shift to the digital is out of question for the organizers, because here the personal encounter as a central element of the Leipzig fair cannot be adequately implemented. The format itself will definitely be retained in the coming years, the situation on th e book market is good despite the cancellation. Nevertheless, Andreas Rötzer from the publishing house Matthes und Seitz demands that support for the industry must be considered if other major events are cancelled in the course of the year. A vaccination center will now be set up in the exhibition halls this far.

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tag Buchmesse Buchbranche Digitalisierung Begegnung Großveranstaltungen
Literature/ Text Bericht

A subtle vision welcomes visitors on the front page of facing arts: an animation of black and white artist portraits that have a questioning, challenging or just curious eye on the visitors. In the foreground changing quotes from the commented collection of articles »Quo vadis ars?« are sliding. These short highlights give an overview of the current discussion about the arts in times of Corona. The names of the cited persons link to the respective text in the review collection. Facing arts documents the diversity of the cultural landscape and at the same time opens up a discourse space reflecting the importance of the arts in the present.

Facing Arts - «Fear Eats the Soul»

Closed concert halls, theaters, museums, literary houses, libraries and cinemas are not only an expression of a society in a state of emergency, but also a sign of a crisis that is particularly hard on the creative industry. For artists, the closure of all public and private cultural institutions does not only mean a ban on work, which for most people goes hand in hand with an immense drop in sales. At the same time, the prescribed social distancing also means that personal exchange and interaction, as they are not only important for musicians, actors, writers and acrobats with colleagues, and the public, but also at the same time the development of new project ideas and thus the acquisition of new orders for the coming months is hardly possible. It is the crisis after the crisis that has l left many cultural professionals in a state of shock. With reference to Rainer Werner Fassbinder's film Angst essen Seele auf [engl. Ali: Fear Eats the Soul], the chairman of the German Cultural Council Olaf Zimmermann has found a fitting picture for the current situation. The aim of facing arts is to counteract this rigidity,

Artists showing their face – 25 times per second

In facing arts, the many hard-to-understand faces of creative artists in Germany and beyond condense. The projection thus creates a new form of publicity at a time when Article 8 of the German constitution is largely overridden and public demonstrations are not possible. Artists gather here virtually, not only to draw attention to their situation, but also to demonstrate their right to practice freely. In this way, the public also becomes aware of how large the anonymous number of solo soloists in the cultural sector actually is. 188,332 active artists are registered in Germany's Artists' Social Welfare Fund (KSK) alone.

Quo vadis ars? – »cultural« memory of the crisis

But speed does not only play a role in the facial animation, but also in public discourse. Who remembers at the beginning of June 2020 how the situation of the artists was assessed in March. What forecasts were made and which artistic genres are currently being given special consideration in the discussion, in other words, who is supported by the media and thus receives a voice and who does not? The commented collection of contributions "Quo vadis ars?" is intended to trace the development of the discussion. The question raised again and again about the function of art and culture in society can thus be answered.
In the quotations on the front page of facing arts, individual actors have their say. The short statements are taken from the collection of articles. Each time the page is called up, nine portraits and five quotations are called up at random. The animation with the black-and-white portraits in the background of the page is meant to arouse curiosity about the project facing arts and at the same time to make people think about the individual fates of the artists in the face animation collective.

Facing arts gives culture a face. Therefore everyone working artistically in the broader sense is invited to participate. At times when there is a debate about whether the cultural sector has a lobby, our goal is to show how many and how diverse we are.

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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.

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