27.05.04 - 10.07.04

Jens Liebchen | Politics & Art - Art & Politics     

"Jens Liebchen's photographs show artists installing their work inside the German Bundestag. Almost involuntary, the viewer of the photographs is prompted to question what these artists and these works of art actually represent. What are they representing in the very place where the representatives of the people convene? One could hardly claim that these artists represent the people in the same sense, since their work is not familiar to most of the population, let alone popular or even capable of consensual assent. Instead, these are artists who go their own ways, albeit with rather low visibility in today's mass media. They are not stars from the worlds of rock, entertainment of football. Their faces are all but unknown to the general public. As artists they may be highly respected within the art world, but one could hardly equate the art world with the people in general. Nonetheless, if one examines these photographs the impression arises that these artists feel fully entitled to represent their art in the Bundestag. Indeed, their behaviour in this politically charged environment brims with self-confidence. And the reasons why they were asked to show their art in the Bundestag also seem self-evident. But the photographs by Jens Liebchen are in fact an invitation to speculate about these reasons. (...)"

Boris Groys

from: Art in Democracy (printed in the catalogue "Jens Liebchen. Photographs. Politics & Art - Art & Politics. Artists and their works in the German Bundestag in Berlin", Edition J. J. Heckenhauer, Tuebingen/Berlin 2005. The catalogue with the complete text by Boris Groys and texts by Wolfgang Thierse and Andreas Kaernbach can be purchased through the gallery).

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