Utopias of Contemporary Art — Lecture by Sebastian Mühl

June 7, 2022, 7 pm
Lecture by Sebastian Mühl
Followed by a discussion with Gudrun Ratzinger and Franz Thalmair

In collaboration with
CLOSE(D) FUTURE – Kunst Kulturjahr 2022

The relationship between art and utopia is not only central to the understanding of contemporary art, but also to its difference from the art and aesthetics of modernity. Cutting across contemporary currents of art historiography, participatory and collaborative art, and forms of artistic activism, Sebastian Mühl shows in his book and lecture of the same name, Utopien der Gegenwartskunst [Utopias of Contemporary Art], that the disputes over the legacy of utopian thought appear crucial for a political and aesthetic reorientation of art after 1989. The frequently diagnosed end of utopia is not to be understood as the end of an orientation towards freedom and emancipation. Rather, contemporary art remains faithful to the emancipatory impulses of modern utopian thought through a critique of its problematic aspects.

Sebastian Mühl (n. 1981 in Germany) lives and works in Berlin and Dresden.
Art historian and curator

Sebastian Mühl, Utopien der Gegenwartskunst. Geschichte und Kritik des utopischen Denkens in der Kunst nach 1989, Bielefeld: Transcript 2020.

Cover image: © Chto Delat, Perestroika Timeline (2009, Detail)