A practice is an activity and a procedure. But it is also an activity. Each art practice invents itself respectively with its working space.
A questioning of the independent scene of the performing arts and its form of work mostly starts at a discussion of the inadequate funding and promotion of the independent scene, as well as in the problematization of the replacement of the romantic model of the critical artist in the current political-economic development of the artist as a paradigmatic figure in the working world of post-disciplinary flexibilization “with compulsion for creative self-realization” (Menke/Rebentisch). If in the 1980s the term “free” in the “free scene” still stood for “self-determination, autonomy, independence from market & state”, today it stands for fulfilling the demands of the market in dependence on city/state and free economy (Alexander Karschnia).
In its final report, the Perspective Commission for the Evaluation of Frankfurt’s Independent Theater Scene, appointed in 2011/2012 by the City of Frankfurt’s Department of Culture, complained in particular about the lack of basal support for theaters of the upcoming generations of artists.
The funding structures and financing models for the independent scene in Frankfurt a.M. are worth reconsidering. But it is precisely in the debates on cultural policy that it is necessary to question artistic production itself and to discuss anew its forms of organization in projects in its unique aesthetic quality. The Naxoshalle, a relic of industrial culture whose current use for artistic purposes is based on an occupation in 2000 by the theater Willy Praml, is an ideal starting point for reflecting on the political-economic developments within aesthetic decisions. The Naxoshalle as a production site provokes the thematization of art practice in two ways: as a procedure (positioning to the production site) and as a working space (which, as a location, signifies a frame of reference of artistic work).
It is less about a reappraisal of the concrete history of the building, but about a treatment of the building in artistic forms of implanting. Implanting means planting, inserting, sticking – that is, an intercalation into or superimposition of space. Implanting as a format of the joint planting of a place seeks to address questions about the place’s status in artistic producing. This relationship of artistic action to its location is to be explored together and the inherent cultural-political questions discussed within the aesthetic positions. On the basis of the works presented in the context of Implanting on Naxos, the question will be asked not only about what artists need, but about what art can do, how it operates and could operate within an institution, a city, a society.
KunstPraxis follows up on the nationwide and Europe-wide questions regarding forms of organization and operation in the liberal performing arts. In doing so, it launches an attempt to immediately try out a new form of operation and discuss forms of operation.
On the artistic practice of the artists* involved in Implanting on Naxos 2013, a comprehensive online publication with texts, interviews, and conversations has been published to reflect on the festival, which can be downloaded here.