Jörg Heiser

Jörg Heiser (b.1968) is a writer, editor, and curator who lives in Berlin.

  • Double Lives in Art and Pop Music

    Double Lives in Art and Pop Music

    Jörg Heiser

    Exploring the relationship between art and pop music over the last fifty years.

    Why did Andy Warhol decide to enter the music business by producing the Velvet Underground, and what did the band expect to gain in return? What made Yoko Ono use the skills she developed in the artistic avant-garde in pop music, and what drew John Lennon, in turn, to visual art? Why, in 1982, did Joseph Beuys record the pop single “Sonne statt Reagan,” and why, around the same time did, West German artists such as Michaela Melián move into pop music?

    In Double Lives in Art and Pop Music, Jörg Heiser argues that context shifting between art and pop music is an attempt to find solutions for contradictions faced in one field of cultural production. Heiser looks closely at the careers of artists and pop musicians who work in both fields professionally. The seeming acceptance and effortlessness today of current border crossings can be deceptive, since they might be serving vested economic or ideological interests. Exploring a pop and art history of more than fifty years, Heiser shows that those leading double lives in art and pop music may often be best able to detect these vested interests while he points toward radical alternatives.

    • Paperback $29.00
  • Divided We Stand

    Divided We Stand

    9th Busan Biennale 2018

    Jörg Heiser, Cristina Ricupero, and Gahee Park

    Titled Divided We Stand, the 9th Busan Biennale in South Korea focused on the theme of divided or formerly territories created because of war, conflict, or colonization, and also considered individuals' feelings of separation, anxiety, fear, or paranoia that result from such geopolitical traumas. Featuring sixty-six artists and artist teams from thirty-four countries, the biennial was organized under the curatorial direction of Cristina Ricupero and Jörg Heiser, with the assistance of guest curator Gahee Park, and took place at the newly built Museum of Contemporary Art Busan (MoCA Busan) and the brutalist-style former Bank of Korea in Busan. The two venues reflected the biennial's theme: work shown at MOCA Busan examined past and current divisions left by the Cold War era, while the second venue comprised work that reflected on our current situation through the lens of science fiction.

    This comprehensive catalogue includes in-depth essays on the theme of the biennial from Boris Groys, Mohammed Hanif, Heonik Kwon, Nina Power, Hito Steyerl, and Wladimir Velminski, as well as individual artist pages and photographs from the exhibition.

    Participating artists: Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme, Bani Abidi, Chantal Akerman, Dora Longo Bahia, Maja Bajević, Khaled Barakeh, Yael Bartana, Jean-Luc Blanc, Oscar Chan Yik Long, Onejoon Che, Mina Cheon, Chin Cheng-Te, Sunah Choi, Phil Collins, Christoph Dettmeier, Dias and Riedweg, Smadar Dreyfus, Eva Grubinger, Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige, Ramin and Rokni Haerizadeh and Hesam Rahmanian, Flaka Haliti, Andy Hope 1930, Hsu Chia-Wei, Im Youngzoo, Joo Hwang, Yunsun Jung, Nikita Kadan, Wanuri Kahiu, Amar Kanwar, Kiluanji Kia Henda, Hayoun Kwon, Oliver Laric, Minwhee Lee & Yun Choi, Gabriel Lester and Jonas Lund, Minouk Lim, Laura Lima and Zé Carlos Garcia, Lin + Lam, Liu Ding, Dora Longo Bahia, Marko Lulić, Fabian Marti, Truwant + Rodet and Eun Kyung Park, Augustin Maurs, Metahaven, Nástio Mosquito, Henrike Naumann, Marcel Odenbach, Melik Ohanian, Ferhat Özgür, Kelvin Kyung Kun Park, Susan Philipsz, Adrian Piper, Min Jeong Seo, Bruno Serralongue, Tayfun Serttas, Hito Steyerl, Jan Svenungsson, Yuichiro Tamura, Javier Téllez, The Propeller Group, Suzanne Treister, Lars von Trier, Nomeda and Gediminas Urbonas, Jane and Louise Wilson, Ming Wong, Ulrich Wüst, Yoo Yeun Bok and Kim Yongtae, Zhang Peili

    Copublished with Busan Biennale Organizing Committee

    • Hardcover $28.00
  • Marcel Odenbach

    Marcel Odenbach

    Beweis zu nichts / Proof of Nothing

    Jörg Heiser, Maria Muhle, Vanessa Joan Müller, and Nicolaus Schafhausen

    Marcel Odenbach is widely known as a pioneering video artist—however, the connections between his video works and his ongoing works on paper call for due recognition. Many of his works reflect the lasting impact of National Socialism up to the present day, all the while bestowing a universal perspective on what is usually constituted as a specifically German concern. Reflections on the familiar and the foreign, elements of his own biography, the interplay between subjective remembrance and collective memory—all of these are crucial themes in his work, which make their claim on the aesthetic as well as the political level.

    Departing from his eponymous exhibition at Kunsthalle Wien, this publication examines new works by Odenbach and contextualizes them within a broader context. Named after an early poem by Ingeborg Bachmann, the exhibition reflected the atmosphere of the postwar period that dominates Bachmann's poetry, which itself is shaped as much by the search for authenticity and truthfulness as it is by the traumatic memory of the past. The exhibited works developed a series of interconnected motifs linking memorial remembrance of the atrocities committed during the Nazi period to individual memories. The complex history of the African continent was likewise presented through film as well as collages that created multilayered vectors pointing as much from the past toward the present as vice versa.

    Copublished with Kunsthalle Wien

    • Hardcover $32.00
  • Sculpture Unlimited 2

    Sculpture Unlimited 2

    Materiality in Times of Immateriality

    Eva Grubinger and Jörg Heiser

    While the first volume Sculpture Unlimited (2011) dealt with the question of how the contemporary field of sculpture can be defined in a useful and stimulating manner against its long history, the second volume looks at the present and future. Once again edited by Eva Grubinger and Jörg Heiser, with contributions by internationally reputed artists and scholars, this volume poses the following question: If we assume that computers and algorithms increasingly control our lives, that they not only regulate social and communicative traffic but also produce new materials and things, does this increase or decrease the space for artistic imagination and innovation? Where is the place of art and sculpture, provided we don't want art to resort to merely maintaining aesthetic traditions?

    With sculpture as a leading reference, the contributions address theory, aesthetics, and technology: Do current philosophical movements such as new materialism and object-oriented ontology affect our notion of the art object? Does so-called post-Internet art have a future? And how does the Internet of Things relate to objects and things in art?

    Contributors Aleksandra Domanović, Mark Fisher, Nathalie Heinich, Mark Leckey, Jean-François Lyotard and Bernard Blistène, Jussi Parikka, Christiane Sauer, Timotheus Vermeulen

    • Paperback $22.00
  • Sculpture Unlimited

    Sculpture Unlimited

    Eva Grubinger and Jörg Heiser

    Based on a symposium at the Department of Sculpture—Transmedial Space, University of Art and Design, Linz, Austria, Sculpture Unlimited captures the breadth of the contemporary discussion around sculpture. Against the historical backdrop of expansions of the notion of sculpture—from Auguste Rodin to Rosalind Krauss and beyond—one could think that the discipline has become defined by its near arbitrary malleability, since practically anything can be construed as sculpture. Yet interest in the history of sculpture seems to be experiencing a revival, including traditional techniques and production methods, which often appear appealing, even radical, in the age of the Internet and social media. The book probes into recent developments in the field, and asks, what potentials does that history hold for responding to current environments? How can the contemporary field of sculpture be defined in a useful and stimulating manner?

    This book was made possible through the generous support of BAWAG P.S.K., Kulturland Oberösterreich, and Kunstuniversität Linz.

    Contributors Jennifer Allen, Nikolaus Hirsch, Aleksandra Mir, Vivian Sky Rehberg, and Jan Verwoert

    • Paperback $24.95
  • Fare una scenata / Making a Scene

    Fare una scenata / Making a Scene

    Jörg Heiser

    The phrase Fare una scenata (Making a Scene) commonly designates a public display of emotion—anger, sadness etc.—often involving exaggerated gestures and facial expressions, screaming, possibly violence against objects or people. In any case, there is no scene made without an audience. The idea is to take the cliché serious and explore its layers of meaning as a means to understand the relationship between artistic process and its aftermath in space, object or image, and audience reaction. Isn't there a kind of “unwritten contract” between the artist and his or her audience, regarding what they “deliver,” whether it's meant to be entertainment, enlightenment, or estrangement?

    Curated by frieze editor Jörg Heiser, “Fare una scenata” was the first group show at Fondazione Morra Greco in Naples. It featured the work of nine international artists who are either commissioned new work, or asked to adapt existing work specifically to the picture-gallery and basement spaces of this newly established foundation located in an old palazzo in the heart of Naples.

    Contributors Pierre Bismuth, Christoph Dettmeier, Haris Epaminonda, Henrik Hakånsson, Mustafa Kunt & Özlem Günyol, Marko Lulic, Aleksandra Mir & Lisa Anne Auerbach

    • Paperback $12.00
  • All of a Sudden

    All of a Sudden

    Things that Matter in Contemporary Art

    Jörg Heiser

    Since the mid-nineties, contemporary art has been booming like never before. There is more of everything—more artists, more collectors, more galleries, more art fairs, more museums, more biennials, more interest, more industry, more pop, more hype. Some art professionals feel prompted by all this to reach for the revolvers of cultural pessimism: Mass Stupidity Is Killing Great Art! Others—often the same people a short while later—defect with all the greater abandon to the alleged enemy. The entrenched battle between defenders of art's autonomy and champions of its merging with entertainment culture continues. There is more of everything, with one exception: criteria. Criteria with which the art of the moment can be understood, judged, praised and, if need be, damned—without getting bogged down in this eternal trench warfare.

    In All of a Sudden: Things that Matter in Contemporary Art, Jörg Heiser provides a sharp summary of contemporary art since Marcel Duchamp. Using many artworks as example, the author shows that art is more than just a randomly chosen cultural field of activity in which to acquire a little specialist knowledge to show off with. “When it's good,” he claims, “art hits where it hurts, striking at the heart of an ossified status quo by which it itself was brought forth. Perhaps this is something art since Modernism has in common with slapstick. Instead of just aiming to shock and outrage, it shows authority losing its grip. Instead of inflating itself, it deflates the pompous in the name of art.”

    The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung finds the book “astonishingly enlightening.” The Frankfurter Rundschau praises Heiser for finally opening the eyes of his readers—something many of his colleagues have been unable to do.

    Jörg Heiser (*1968) lives in Berlin. He is co-editor of frieze magazine, writes for the national daily Süddeutsche Zeitung, and is a frequent contributor to art catalogues and publications. He curated the exhibitions “Romantic Conceptualism” (2007, Kunsthalle Nürnberg, BAWAG Foundation Vienna) and “Funky Lessons” (2004/2005, BüroFriedrich Berlin, BAWAG Foundation Vienna).

    • Paperback $29.95

Contributor

  • Moscow Symposium

    Moscow Symposium

    Conceptualism Revisited

    Boris Groys

    Beyond the view that multiple, globally dispersed conceptual art practices provide a heterogeneity of cultural references, Andrei Monastyrski and Collective Actions propose much more: other dimensions altogether, other spatiotemporal politics, other timescales, other understandings of matter, other forms of life—not only as works, but as a basic condition for being able to perceive artworks in the first place. Could it be that the Moscow Conceptualists were so elusive or saturated with the particularities of life in a specific economic and intellectual culture that they precluded integration into a broader art historical narrative? If so, then their simultaneously modest and radical approach to form may present a key to understanding the resilience and flexibility of a more general sphere of global conceptualisms that anticipate, surpass, or even bend around their purported origins in canonical European and American regimes of representation, as well as what we currently understand to be the horizon of artistic practice.

    e-flux journal Series edited by Julieta Aranda, Brian Kuan Wood, Anton Vidokle

    Contributors Claire Bishop, Keti Chukhrov, Ekaterina Degot, Jörg Heiser, Terry Smith, Anton Vidokle, and Sarah Wilson

    • Paperback $16.00
  • The Artist's Joke

    The Artist's Joke

    Jennifer Higgie

    Jokes and humor in avant-garde and contemporary art, as discussed by writers and artists ranging from Freud and Picasso to Andrea Fraser, the Guerilla Girls, and Slavoj Žižek.

    Ever since Freud's Jokes and Their Relation to the Unconscious appeared in 1905, humor both light and dark has frequently surfaced as a subversive, troubling, or liberating element in art. The Artist's Joke surveys the rich and diverse uses of humor by avant-garde and contemporary artists. The texts collected in this new reader from London's Whitechapel Gallery examine what André Breton called the “lightning bolt” of the unsettlingly comic, as seen in the anarchic wordplay of Duchamp, Picasso, the Dadaists, and Surrealists; Pop's fetish for kitsch and the comic strip; Bruce Nauman's sinister clowns and twisted puns; Richard Prince's joke paintings; art ambushed by feminist wit, from the Dadaism of Hannah Höch in the 1920s to the politicized conceptualism of Jenny Holzer and Barbara Kruger in the 1980s; the serenely uncanny in Mike Kelley's installations and the risibly grotesque in Paul McCarthy's; and the strangely comic scenarios of artists as various as Maurizio Cattelan, Andrea Fraser, Raymond Pettibon, and David Shrigley. Artists' writings are accompanied and contextualized by the work of critics and thinkers including Freud, Bergson, Hélène Cixous, Slavoj Žižek, Jörg Heiser, Jo Anna Isaak, and Ralph Rugoff. Jennifer Higgie is the coeditor of frieze magazine. She has published writings on such contemporary artists as Ricky Swallow, Magnus Von Plessen, and David Noonan.

    Artists surveyed include Leonora Carrington, Maurizio Cattelan, Marcel Duchamp, Marlene Dumas, Fischli & Weiss, Andrea Fraser, the Guerilla Girls, Hannah Höch, Mike Kelley, Martin Kippenberger, Barbara Kruger, Sarah Lucas, Paul McCarthy, Bruce Nauman, Claes Oldenberg, Raymond Pettibon, Francis Picabia, Pablo Picasso, Richard Prince, Arnulf Rainer, Ad Reinhardt, ED Ruscha, Carolee Schneemann, David Shrigley, Robert Smithson, Annikia Ström, Kara Walker, Andy Warhol Writers includeHugo Ball, Henri Bergson, André Breton, Hélène Cixous, Sigmund Freud, Jörg Heiser, Dave Hickey, Jo Anna Isaak, Ralph Rugoff, Peter Schjeldahl, Sheena Wagstaff, Hamza Walker, Slavoj Žižek

    • Paperback $24.95 £16.95