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

»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

Ein Wort geht um auf deutschsprachigen Bühnen: der »Premierenstau«
A word is circulating on German-speaking stages: the »premiere backlog«

by Bernd Noack (29 Jan 2021)
Original source: Neue Züricher Zeitung

While the theatres had still hoped to reopen soon with the announcement of a lockdown light in November, the date for the start of productions seems to have receded into the distant future. While many theatres were still working on new productions in November and December, rehearsals have now largely stopped. Frustration in the ensembles is growing, as it is even less foreseeable than in the spring when a return to normal operations will be possible. As at the beginning of the season in autumn, audiences can then expect a flurry of premieres, as the new productions are j ust waiting to be presented. Until then, on the one hand, crisis management is in demand at the theatres, which - according to many theatre managers - is basically part of their everyday business. On the other hand, Nicolas Stemann from the Schauspielhaus Zurich asks the justified question of whether one can continue to plan with a theatre repertoire operation or whether the houses should not use the current situation to try out new formats and a new kind of artistic activity. 

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tag Theater Systemrelevanz Lockdown Premierenstau Quo vadis ars Planungssicherheit
Performing Arts/ Cinema Bericht

»Wir sollten uns nicht hyperüberschätzen« . Amelie Deuflhard zum Theater-Lockdown
»We should not hyper-overestimate ourselves« . Amelie Deuflhard about the theatre lockdown

by Amelie Deuflhard, Vladimir Balzer (05 Nov 2020)
Original source: Deutschlandfunk Kultur

Planning reliability is what cultural institutions need most urgently at the moment. The employees at many institutions continue to work, but the feeling of producing into a void is a great burden for many. Amelie Deuflhard, artistic director of the 'Kampnagel' theatre in Hamburg, does not want to follow the suggestion of the artistic director of the Schaubühne, Thomas Ostermeier. Just in solidarity with the free theaters, the houses must continue to be played in, even if the situation is uncertain. Nevertheless, she would also like planning reliability, bec ause if a closure beyond November was already determined now, then the houses could consider alternative concepts for their spaces and use the closure for conceptual considerations. Although Deuflhard believes that many theaters in Germany are on the right track, she nevertheless warns that the theater in the present time still appeals to the educated middle classes. Developing new concepts here, also leaving the traditional spaces, addressing target groups and working on the diversification of the theater are some of the tasks that could be tackled. She even goes to that lenghts in times of crisis as to suggest other meaningful tasks for the theater staff - reading aloud in nursing homes, helping out at the health department.
Of course, the state-subsidized institutions in the present are much more likely to allow a positive view of the future than privately run institutions and solo self-employed persons. The precarious employments of the freelancers are also on Deuflhard's imaginary to-do list for crisis closure. Here, however, politics would also have to get involved and consider how to provide rescue for this group to help them survive such a crisis. Here, an unconditional basic income or a solidarity fund are just two ways of stabilizing the sector so that it does not collapse again if a new crisis occurs. It should also be borne in mind that bureaucracy can be reduced as much as possible.  
Finally, she points out that all international cooperation is currently frozen. This means that not only an important form of cultural exchange is missing, in many countries there is also no support for artists during the crisis.

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tag Theater Planungssicherheit Privilegien Kultur als Chance Grundeinkommen Demokratisierung Solo-Selbständige
Performing Arts/ Cinema Gespräch

Stille mit Vorsatz . Verbale Aufrüstung schlägt nötige Differenzierung: zur Kritik der Kulturbranche am zweiten Shutdown
Silence with intent . Verbal armament beats necessary differentiation: on the culture industry's criticism of the second shutdown

by Hartmut Welscher, Christian Koch (04 Nov 2020)
Original source: VAN Magazin für klassische Musik

The fact that the November lockdown hits art and culture hard, even though excellent hygiene concepts were developed to protect the public, divides the cultural world in Germany. The displeasure was expressed in open letters and articles in newspapers and social media. Only a few balanced voices can be heard at present. Federal and state governments are not innocent of this situation, as they have caused displeasure by failing to provide adequate justification as to which cultural and economic sectors are to be closed and which may remain open. As was already the case in March, many cultural workers feel offended by politics being assigned to professions that are not systemically relevant. So they feel that their function for society is not valued. Many now joined the statement of the trumpeter Tim Brönner, who complained that the cultural industry had no lobby, and tried to make themselves heard. The verbal armament, however, conceals the fact that the pandemic constitutes a twofold threat to artists: in addition to the material threat, many of them increasingly find themselves in a crisis of identity when they are no longer allowed to perform or interact with an audience. And so artists are currently making themselves heard loud and clear, but are still unable to find their way around.This applies not only to culture, but also to politics, which is currently more likely to stumble forward than to steer the processes in a targeted manner.  And so the authors feel uncomfortable when Finance Minister Olaf Scholz keeps granting new aid programs. Public funds are limited, and the first municipalities are already making cuts.
For the cultural industry, the question now is where the development is heading. There will hardly be a return to the status quo-especially since it was not a good one before the crisis. At the beginning of the pandemic, many musicians were happy to have escaped the »hamster wheel of global competition and competitive pressure«. Can't quantity leave the field to quality? In this way, the cultural sector could at the same time make its contribution to solving the ecological question.

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tag Klassik Musikbranche November-Lockdown Lagerbildung Lobby Sinnkrise Existenzkrise Quo vadis ars Stille Hamsterrad
Music Bericht

Debatte um Künstler in Not . Corona-Soforthilfe gefloppt
Debate about artists in need . Corona emergency aid flopped

by Peter Jungblut (28 Sep 2020)
Original source: BR24

Another round of discussions on the state of culture: in Munich's Volkstheater, the Bavarian Minister of State for Science and Art Bernd Sibler had to answer questions from cultural workers. The displeasure is great. In Bavaria, the number of allowed visitors is still determined not by the size of the event rooms but by the size of the events. Only three houses are allowed to accommodate 500 spectators in the course of a model experiment. The fear among culture enthusiasts is still great, so that even these places are not sold out.
Just as unsuccessful as the pilot project was the emergency aid program for solo self-employed persons, which expired at the end of the most recent quarter. Instead of the expected 60,000 applications, the Free State received only 10,000, of which 8,000 were approved. The reasons for this are manifold. Some have already received money from other funding sources or applied for Hartz IV, while others are keeping their heads above water with other jobs if they are not already trying their luck in another profession. In the cultural sector, the fear of the "point of no return" is now spreading. What if next year too many cultural workers have already reoriented themselves and a return to the situation before the lockdown will no longer be possible? The helplessness is great. Bernd Sibler points to the satisfaction of the Bavarians with the strict corona measures, while Volkmar Halbleib, SPD party member of the state parliament, vehemently attacks his colleague from the CSU party: civilized cultural events are not a source of infection. Everyone is now aware of this. Therefore, something must now finally be done for culture to free the artists from their hopeless situation.

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tag Soforthilfe Bayern Bernd Sibler Münchner Volkstheater point of no return Sitzplätze
All sections Bericht

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

Schauspielerin Stephanie Lexer über Art ist relevant . Wie wichtig ist Kunst?
Actress Stephanie Lexer on the initiative Art is relevant . How essential is art?

by Stephanie Lexer (31 May 2020)
Original source: Nachrichten München

Art and culture are constantly present in our everyday life. Whether it is the music we listen to on the radio, the series we watch in the evening or the book we read. During the Corona crisis many of the actors felt to exist under the radar. Not only were art and culture not considered to be systemically relevant, individuals also felt that their work was not appreciated. The initiative "Art is relevant" sees this as a symptom of our time, which is reinforced by the Corona crisis. The appreciation for art and culture is declining more and more in the present. This must change! At the same time, however, the industry must also become aware that it has a decisive influence on the way society thinks and acts and thus also has the responsibility to think about what our world should look like.
The actress Stephanie Lexer is co-initiator of the initiative "Art is relevant", which, however, does not want to see itself as a pure Corona initiative, but will also be committed to the interests of art and culture beyond that. One example is the critical questioning of online offerings. Often the impression arises that the work of artists of all disciplines can be regarded as a hobby that can easily be made available online. However, this is also a profession with which one has to earn a living.

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tag Systemrelevanz Wertschätzung Onlineangebote Filmproduktion Stephanie Lexer Kulturförderung
All sections Video-Interview

»Wie ein Rennauto, das in die Wand fährt« . Erfolgsproduzent Oliver Auspitz über die Film-Branche im Corona-Modus, Ulrike Lunaceks Rücktritt, Kanzler-Hilfe und die ROMY
»Like a racing car driving into the ground«

by Oliver Auspitz, Christoph Silber (16 May 2020)
Original source: Kurier

tag Filmproduktion Ausfallfonds ORF
Performing Arts/ Cinema Interview

Folge #1: Doktor Pop . Happy Endzeit - der Popkultur Podcast
Series #1: Doctor Pop . Happy end of time - the pop culture podcast

by Marcus Mötz, Dr. Pop (08 May 2020)
Original source: Tonspion

tag Popmusik Berufsverbot Onlineangebot Streaming Liveevent
Music Podcast



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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