Roger M. Buergel and Ruth Noack (ed.) for the Generali Foundation, Vienna 2000.
Preface by Dietrich Karner, introduction by Sabine Breitwieser, texts by Roger M. Buergel, Ruth Noack, Christian Kravagna and Kaja Silverman.
Germ./Engl., 144 pages, 32 black-and-white illustrations, softcover
Artists from Germany, Austria, France and the USA look at the issue of how social engagement and aesthetic autonomy can be connected. In different political and historical contexts, they rely on the effects of irritations which do not frustrate the mind but rather transform it. “Things we don’t understand” build the tools to open our consciousness of the world’s changeability to new dimensions and behavioral options. Beyond the thankless alternatives of succumbing to the charm of popular culture (and becoming part of the entertainment industry) or repairing social outrages (and dissolving into social work), the exhibition displays a picture of relevant artistic practice. The catalogue meticulously documents the artists’ fields and elabortes them theoretically. An essay by the art critic Christian Kravagna about the connection between aesthetic and political experience and an essay from the film theorist Kaja Silverman about “The Language of Things” round it off.