The histories and various practices of both the historical and the Neo-avant-garde in visual arts, music, film and theatre are highly relevant in the aesthetic approach of the film and theatre director, Christoph Schlingensief (1960-2010). His work, that now holds a very important position in the field of German contemporary art, consistently experimented anew with the relationship between art and the public sphere and also tested the frameworks of institutions and media in ways that established connections with 20th century avant-garde tradition.
The productivity and legacy of the avant-gardes, in terms of their political agendas and aesthetic approaches that gave rise to Schlingensief's contemporary working methods, provided a reference point for debate in the roundtable discussions of the Working Group, with members and associates in the fields of Art, Cultural, and Social Studies from Germany, Great Britain, Switzerland, Austria and Australia. The contributions and discussions demonstrated the ways in which Schlingensief's critical practice-via parody, re-enactments and appropriation-sought connections to the diverse formats employed by the avant-garde. For example, the Surrealist group (Andre Breton's Second Surrealist Manifesto, Volksbühne Berlin 1996), Fluxus (A Church of Fear for the Alien in Me-a Fluxus-Oratorium, Ruhrtriennale Duisburg, 2008), the Happening (Kaprow City, Volksbühne Berlin 2006), or the New German Film (Tunguska - Die Kisten sind da, 1983). That the end of the avant-garde has been long diagnosed and bemoaned in scholarly discourse and its agenda-to transgress boundaries via art-to, at best, transcend art and become part of life, is a problem that must be critically re-examined in the light of Schlingensief's work.
Evelyn Annuß (Berlin, GER), Wolfgang Asholt (Berlin, GER), Marius Dotzauer (Münster, GER), Eva-Maria Fehre (Bielefeld, GER), Birte Giesler (Bielefeld, GER), Ingrid Gilcher-Holtey (Bielefeld, GER), Ulrike Hartung (Frankfurt am Main, GER), Ingrid Hentschel (Bielefeld, GER), Sebastian Kirsch (Bochum, GER), Teresa Kovacs (Wien, AUT), Dietrich Kuhlbrodt (Hamburg, GER), Fabian Lehmann (Bayreuth, GER), Hélisenne Lestringant (Berlin, GER), Ella Platschka (München, GER), Heinz-Werner Preußer (Bielefeld, GER), Sarah Ralfs (Berlin, GER), Philip Ursprung (Zürich, SUI), Jörg van der Horst (Lippstadt, GER), Arno Waschk (Berlin, GER), Nina Tessa Zahner (Leipzig, GER)