ZUGZWANG
Portraits on a wall
A Spatial Installation by Rudolf Herz
Tue, 12.05.2015, 7 pm
The spatial installation ZUGZWANG, by Rudolf Herz, and the recently published book documenting its exciting and development comprises the focus of the panel discussion.
 
Triggering fierce debate since 1995, ZUGZWANG has been presented ten times both inland and abroad. The installation combines chessboard-like silk-screen portraits of Adolf Hitler and Marcel Duchamp, both of which were taken by Munich photographer Heinrich Hoffmann. In his artistic thesis Herz wrote that Hitler and Duchamp are the “secret antagonists of twentieth century art”. Hitler is the artistic populist, who sought to eliminate the avant-garde under the slogan “degenerate art”. Duchamp, by contrast, stands for ideological thought experimentation and the alienated artistic minority which questions everything.
 
One further violation of the rules consists in the way in which the installation establishes this “programmatic relation” between Hitler and Duchamp: showing pictures of Hitler without comment is considered a breach of taboo, especially since here, the pictures are presented without any such reference as to whether or not a comparison, contrast or equation is intended. Under the slogan “the power of images“ a substantial influence is attributed to the Hitler images, which the German population during the Nation Socialist era were unable to evade and which prompted Walter Benjamin’s thesis of manipulation, the “aestheticization of politics”, which continues to enjoy uninterrupted recognition until today.
 
The panel discussion deals with artistic theses as well as the diverse and close interlacing of aesthetics and politics, and offers approaches from aesthetic and media-scientific standpoints.
 
The event will take place as part of the seminar »GLOBALE Renaissance 4.0« at the HfG Karlsruhe, and is collaborative event with the ZKM in advance of the events series GLOBALE. The new art event in the digital age.
Credits
Organization / Institution
HfG Karlsruhe