International conference Elective Affinities. German Art Since the Late 1960s. Day Two
19.08.2016 10:30
With the final days of the exhibition “Elective Affinities. German Art Since the Late 1960s” approaching, on 18 and 19 August 2016 the Latvian National Museum of Art in collaboration with the Goethe-Institut Riga is organizing an international conference where various art experts, critics, collectors and artists from Latvia and Germany will participate. Conference venue: Goethe-Institut Riga, 1 Torņa Street (entrance from Klostera Street).




19 August 2016

(English and Latvian language day)


Panel III


Art Strategies within Post-Unification Germany (1990s through the Millennium to today)

Kunststrategien im vereinten Deutschland (1990er Jahre bis zur Jahrtausendwende)


Panel Members:

  • Mark Gisbourne (Berlin), art critic and curator, Curator of the exhibition Elective Affinities. German Art Since the Late 1960s, participant moderator;
  • Jānis Zuzāns, entrepreneur, art patron and collector, member of the Tate Modern Russian and Eastern Europe Acquisitions Committee;
  • Volker Diehl (Berlin), owner of the Galerie Volker Diehl, specialising in Eastern European Art;
  • Christoph Tannert (Berlin), curator and critic writer, Creative Director of the Künstlerhaus Bethanien;
  • Kaspars Vanags, Riga and Berlin-based art curator, critic and culture-theoretician, Curator of the Latvian pavilion Armpit at the 56th Venice Biennale (2015), responsible for creative concepts for the future Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art, Head of ABLV Charitable Foundation Arts Programme


This will be an open debate with short statements by the participants as to the new directions in German art over the last twenty years. It will address issues like the re-orientation of the art world in Germany towards Berlin as the current dominant centre of German art making (if not art selling), certainly in scope of the number of contemporary art exhibitions annually that almost rival London in number. The role of the project space and the project concept will be discussed in the context of Berlin. The re-emergence of Dresden and Leipzig, particularly in terms of their respective art academies and influence over the last fifteen years.


The issue of large scale and franchised galleries that have increasingly come to dominate the international art market might be discussed. With new media how and in what ways is German art being mediated and assimilated today? Is there a return to an active engagement with culture and politics, and where can we place politics within contemporary art practices after the subjectivity of the dominant expressive subjectivities of 1980s and 1990s? Is there any future for a radical art practice today, when everything is so rapidly eviscerated and assimilated? As Hito Steyerl (a leading young artist, also present in the current Berlin Biennial) asks what is or can be the function of art in an age of disaster capitalism? Or / And are we passing through as contemporary theory has suggested to a new political art that is born of post-democracy?


Questions as to the former art practices of Ost-Deutschland and the possible reintegration of the West and East German Art should not be ignored.




All interested parties are welcome to the Goethe-Institut conference!

Free entrance.

No previous arrangements are necessary.

For more information please contact Antra Balode by calling (+371) 67 508187 or writing to

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