#finally #opening #central # taimiao: Federal Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel opens #Deutschland8 in the #forbiddencity #beijing #cafa // Swipe for more images. Thanks to the support of: #volkswagen #airchina #allianz #lufthansa #würth #kiongroup #auswärtigesamt #siemens #fuchspetrolub #weichaipower #rheinmetall #huawei #artron #funkemediengruppe #germanembassybeijing \\ @benitamaltzahn @waltersmerling @sigmargabrielspd @auswaertigesamt @volkswagengroup_culture
A post shared by Stiftung für Kunst & Kultur (@skk_bonn) on
A group of artists included in Deutschland 8 — German Art in China, an exhibition featuring 320 works by 55 contemporary artists spread across eight venues in Beijing that opened on Saturday, were alarmed to discover that one of its main sponsors is the German weapons manufacturer Rheinmetall.
“As artists, we refuse to enhance the image of such corporations,” an open letter signed by six of the artists in the exhibition — Antje Ehmann, Marcel Odenbach, Julian Rosefelt, Hito Steyerl, Rosemarie Trockel, and Clemens von Wedemeyer — and the estate of the late Harun Farocki, reads. “We don’t support advertisement for weapons manufacturers under the umbrella of German cultural diplomacy and we explicitly protest the instrumentalisation of our work for this purpose.”
— Rheinmetall Group (@RheinmetallAG) September 6, 2017
Odenbach told Monopol that the artists only found out about the show’s sponsors when they received invitations to the exhibition, though Rheinmetall’s logo is visible in the “partners and sponsors” section of the exhibition’s website. Organized by the Bonn-based nonprofit Stiftung für Kunst und Kultur and Beijing’s Central Academy of Fine Art, the exhibition’s sponsors also include Air China, Volkswagen, Allianz, and Lufthansa. Rheinmetall’s page about the exhibition and a recent press release tout the company’s booming business in China, where its other main area of business, car parts, is thriving. However, Odenbach was quick to specify: “Our protest has nothing to do with China.”
Rather, the artists highlight Rheinmetall’s dealings in Turkey and Saudi Arabia. In 2016, the company’s South African subsidiary, Rheinmetall Denel Munition, opened a major munitions factory just south of Riyadh, chiefly to supply weapons to the Saudi military. The company’s Italian subsidiary has sold bomb components to the United Arab Emirates military, which have been dropped in Yemen as part of the Saudi-led campaigns there. It also has plans to construct a major tank-building facility in Turkey, which has raised humanitarian concerns due to President Erdoğan’s tendency to use his tanks to attack and intimidate the country’s Kurdish populations.
On Tuesday, in response to the artists’ open letter, the board of Stiftung für Kunst und Kultur released a statement.
“The organizers take the concerns of these artists and their moral objections very seriously,” the statement reads. “For the critique of the artists touches upon fundamental questions pertaining to the cultural sector and to the relationship between politics, industry, and public-private partnerships in the Federal Republic of Germany.” A spokesperson for Stiftung für Kunst und Kultur told Hyperallergic that a public debate is being organized within the context of the Deutschland 8 exhibition discuss these issues.
The protesting artists have not said what action they will take if their objections to Rheinmetall’s involvement are not addressed, though past examples suggest something more than an open letter might be required. In 2014 a group of artists successfully pressured the Biennale of Sydney to end its sponsorship agreement with Transfield — a company that runs offshore detention facilities — by boycotting the exhibition. And in the UK, multiple years-long campaigns by Liberate Tate, BP or not BP?, and other groups have sought to end BP’s cultural sponsorships.
The artists’ full letter is included below:
As art history buffs on the app have pointed out, both movements attribute meaning to the meaningless.
Multiple posts about the film have been taken down on Twitter, many of them following the government’s removal requests.
Located in Des Moines, Iowa, this residency for emerging and established artists includes studio and living space, a $1,000 monthly stipend, and more.
This week, blonde hair supremacy, Salman Rushdie’s new novel, and why do boutique shops all look the same?
Fayneese Miller is under fire after the school failed to renew the contract of an adjunct who showed artworks depicting the Muslim Prophet Muhammad.
Hundreds of visitors were evacuated from the Incan site over the weekend.
The artist’s works resonate in West Texas, where the story of dehumanized and exploited migrant laborers is tangible and ever-present.
Fully-funded teaching assistantships are standard for MFA students at the top-ranked, flagship research university in the state of New York.
A posthumous show of Price’s work is curated by James Hart of Phil Space, the self-proclaimed “gallerist of death.”
She has raised generations of Bay Area artists and changed the local landscape with her public artworks, colleagues tell Hyperallergic.
Saim Sadiq’s crushing debut, the first Pakistani film to be shortlisted for the Oscars, is imbued with a crisis of space.
Asma Naeem’s appointment comes in the wake of a tumultuous period for the institution.