Cultures of Critique

Research Training Group (DFG-GRK 2114)

The cultural sciences research training group “Cultures of Critique” undertakes a productive revision of the preconditions, roles and validity claims of critique. On the one hand, new technologies and distribution channels have given rise to a welter of unexpected critical and quasi-critical practices. On the other hand, the very theoretical foundations of critique have come under massive pressure – and so, it seems, has the modern project of critique as a whole. What may be regarded as an act of critique and which agents, expectations and criteria take part, is currently subject to basal negotiation.

The research training group conceives critique as a praxis that is always already culturally situated, while its efficacy rides on comprehensive claims to validity and authority. The phenomena under critique are inseparably interwoven with the forms and media used to represent them. Representation thus appears as the focal point in which widely divergent forms of critique and their heterogeneous cultures lend themselves to comparative discussion. Building on studies of diverse concrete critical practices, the Research Training Group seeks to remap the interaction between critique and culture in the history of modernity up to the present and employ the tools of cultural studies to frame a well founded and timely conception of critique.

The research training group commenced its work on October 1st 2016.

Spokesperson: Prof. Dr. Beate Söntgen
Deputy spokesperson: Prof. Dr. Erich Hörl

Congress / Die Zukunft der Kritik (The Future of Critique)

Together with the Akademie der Künste (Berlin), the Kunst- und Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland GmbH (Bonn), the german section of the international association of Art Critics AICA and the Institut für Kunst- und Bildgeschichte of the Humboldt-University Berlin, the College is inviting you to the congress "Die Zukunft der Kritik".

More info here.

Re: The new Collaborative Research Centre “Intervening Arts”

Grand opening of the new Collaborative Research Centre “Intervening Arts”

The celebratory opening of the new Collaborative Research Centre “Intervening Arts” takes place on October 20th at 7 pm in cooperation with the Akademie der Künste Berlin.
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Poetics of Intervention

Taking up questions raised by the opening event, the first annual conference of the CRC “Intervening Arts” on October 21st, 9 am - 5 pm, will focus on different strategies for the interference of arts in social relations. Fellows and guests scrutinize artistic models of the political.
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Book Presentation "Why Art Criticism? A Reader"

Why Art Criticism? Julia Voss and Anna Kipke in conversation

As part of the K21 Encounters, Julia Voss and Anna Kipke presented the volume "Why Art Criticism?" published by Hatje Cantz in 2022.

The reader does pioneering work by bringing together and commenting on a wide variety of art critical voices from the present and the past. The diversity of arguments, modes of presentation, and criteria challenges the discussion of how art criticism can be understood and written under conditions of globalization.

The event series K21 Encounters is dedicated to current questions about the significance of contemporary art for the future of our society. After a period of social distancing and digital programs, the focus is on the analog, shared conversation on site. With talks, screenings, concerts, readings and performances, artists and theorists present their latest works; afterwards, there is space for open discussions. The events take place at monthly intervals in the Salon21 of the K21.

The doctoral students

Third generation projects

We are very pleased to welcome the third generation of doctoral students at Cultures of Critique! Thirteen new members have started work in the winter term 2022/2023 and are making important contributions to the updating of a concept of critique in cultural studies with their projects.

  • Kelly Bescherer: On Management and Refusal: Identitätsklärung as a Contested Practice of Control within the German Deportation Regime
  • Jan-Hauke Branding: ›Sagen, was wir sind‹ – Die Theoriebildung der radikalen Schwulenbewegung als (Konstellation der) Kritik
  • Raphael Daibert: Lifting the Sky: Practices to Sustain Worlds Otherwise
  • Volha Davydzik: Political Art Practices and their Role in Shaping the Solidarity and Networks of Care in Non-democratic Societies
  • Felix Leonhard Esch: V-Shapes of Capitalism. Der Wachstumszwang der Moderne und seine Manifestation im menschlichen Körper.
  • Jörg Hügel: Auf der Suche nach der klassenlosen Gesellschaft. ‚Urkommunismus‘ als narratives Konzept zwischen 1848 und 1940
  • Dyoniz Kindata: German and Swahili Colonial Newspapers in German East Africa 1885-1918 as Multimodal Sites of Emergence of Social Knowledge and Cultures of Critique
  • Stasya Korotkova: Queer Sensuality and Cross-dressing in the Cinema of the Russian Empire (1909-1917)
  • Melcher Ruhkopf: Das Logistische Museum – Logistikkritik und museale Praxis
  • Laura Felicitas Sabel: Praktiken des Transitorischen: Restitution und Museumspraxis anhand des (im)materiellen Kulturerbe der Nachfahren der Tairona der Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Kolumbien (Arbeitstitel)
  • Donovan Stewart: The Ecotechnical Community: Concerning the Problem of the (Re)organisation of Political Place
  • Lukas Stolz: The Chronopolitics of the Climate Catastrophe: Eco-Imaginaries beyond Fatalism and Cruel Optimism.
  • Julian Volz: Kunst, Gesellschaft und antikoloniale Befreiungsbewegung: Das revolutionäre Algerien in der Gegenwartskunst

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