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Barbara Tiberi // Art and industry in Southern Germany between the late 1950s and the early 1970s: Motivations and implications in context

Dissertationsprojekt
Barbara Tiberi // Art and industry in Southern Germany between the late 1950s and the early 1970s: Motivations and implications in context

Artistic practices in factories are an emblematic sign of substantial paradigm shifts occurring in post-WWII cultural scenarios in Germany and elsewhere. The project analyses motivations, situates case studies within general dynamics in society and finds new ways of considering the period's concept of creativity. After France and Italy, research now focuses on German case studies and context.
Three fundamental questions are addressed. Who conceived and promoted the collaboration, thus dominating the discourse? Many actors (artists, factory management, employees and the State) play a part and various concerns are at stake. Their role and relationship respond to varying dynamics I intend to analyse.
How were collaborative practices channelled by developments in the wider cultural debate on art and society and how was it embedded within a changing concept of creativity?
How were artistic practices anchored to social and political discourses? Each case is considered in its local context (peculiar of Cold-War Germany) and in a wider dimension. Artistic activities in corporations are both the result of general discussions translated to particular situations, and bottom-up developments of cultural and social discourses at national and international levels. The possible discrepancies between practices and official narratives are also addressed, enhancing multiple voices and pluralised perspectives.

[Caption: Image 1: German sculptor Hans-Günther van Look creates a wall out of stainless steel sheets at Henkel’s welding department in Düsseldorf in 1973 (Corporate Archives, Henkel AG & Co. KGaA, Düsseldorf)/Image 2: Visual artist Mario Reis portrays rolling wagons on Henkel’s railway tracks in Düsseldorf in 1979 (Corporate Archives, Henkel AG & Co. KGaA, Düsseldorf)]

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