Truth is concrete

A 24/7 marathon camp on artistic strategies in politics and political strategies in art

100% art
100% politics
100% non-stop
Details and programme: //

“Art is a left-wing hobby.”
(Geert Wilders)

The world is changing too quickly for us to keep up: the rise of the populist right, massive financial cutbacks that threaten the entire European project, structural destruction of education and culture, democratic uprisings, Islamic and Christian fundamentalism, environmental disasters – where to start, where to end?
But what role does art play in this whirlwind of events, that we can hardly even follow, let alone understand?
We have learned that there are no longer any easy answers. We do not trust ideologies, but we follow the ideology of capitalism. We know that everything is contingent and relative. We replace criticism with criticality, politics with the post-political, modernism with post-modernism and capitalism with added value. But when the answers get too complicated, the need for easy solutions begins to grow. And we – perhaps left-wing hobbyists after all – seem to have lost touch with a broader base.
So what’s to be done? Must art help solve those problems that politics and society have ignored for so long? Should art be a social or political tool, can it be useful?
“Truth is concrete” was written in big letters above Bertolt Brecht’s desk when in Danish exile – quoting Lenin quoting Hegel quoting Augustine. We use the possibility of concrete truth as a working hypothesis, to search for direct action, concrete change and knowledge. For an art that interferes in specific political and social contexts and for an activism that seeks to find intelligent, creative means of self-empowerment.
“Truth is concrete” is a 24/7 marathon camp: around 250 artists, activists and scientists will lecture, perform, play, produce, debate and collect artistic strategies in politics and political strategies in art. Day and night. As part of a grant programme, we will also be inviting some 100 young students, artists, activists and theorists from all over the globe. “Truth is concrete” is a platform and a toolbox as much as a performative statement; an extreme effort at a time that seems to call for extreme efforts.
The camp is a temporary habitat: here the sleep areas, there the herbst exhibition, over there the kitchen and next to it the bookshop. The video library alongside the hairdresser’s. Camp radio, speech karaoke, plenum. Open all the time and for everyone, day and night. Some stay throughout, but everyone is invited to drop by any time: for a particular lecture, for an hour or so, perhaps another hour, for a discussion, a performance, a concert, a film – the doors are always open, as long as there is room.

With Hans Abbing (NL), Milan Adamčiak (SK), Udi Aloni (IL), Valery Alzaga (MEX), Ulf Aminde (D), Burak Arikan (TR), ArtLeaks, Awesome Tapes From Africa (USA), Zdenka Badovinac (SLO), Zbynék Baladrán (CZ), Anette Baldauf (A), Katherine Ball (USA), Stéphane Bérard (F), Ellen Blumenstein / Haben und Brauchen (D), Katya Bondarenko / Teatr.doc (RUS), Leah Borromeo (GB), Jakob Braeuer (D), Christoph Braun (D), Reinhard Braun (A), Chimurenga (ZA), Carlos Celdran (RP), Center for Political Beauty (D), common spring collective (D), Luigi Coppola (B/I), Critical Practice (GB), Minerva Cuevas (MEX), Sibylle Dahrendorf (D), Eyal Danon (IL), Diedrich Diederichsen (D), Jens Dietrich / IIMP - International Institute of Political Murder (D), Annie Dorsen (USA), eclectic electric collective (D), Róza El-Hassan (H/SYR), Rana El Nemr (ET), Oriana Eliçabe / Enmedio Collective (ES), Köken Ergun (TR/D), Charles Esche (NL/GB), Tim Etchells (GB), Everday Rebellion (A), Marcelo Expósito (AR), Eleonora Fabião (BR), Nick Farr (USA), Femen (UA), Joanna Figiel (GB/PL), Noah Fischer (USA), Dirk Fleischmann (ROK/D), Davis Freeman (B), Isabelle Fremeaux / The Laboratory of Insurrectionary Imagination (F), Fun-Da-Mental (GB), Alexandra Galkina (RUS), Loreto Garín Guzmán / Etcétera... (AR), Vjekoslav Gašparović / pulska grupa (HR), Federico Geller (AR), Mariam Ghani (USA), Adrienne Goehler (D), Jennifer González (USA), Julieta Gonzalez (VE), Janna Graham / Ultra-red (GB/CAN), The Haircut Before The Party (GB), Gary Hall (GB), Christian Hanussek (D), Paul Harfleet (GB), Stefano Harney (GB), Vít Havranek (CZ), Adrian Heathfield (GB), Carl Hegemann (D), Herr Bogensberger (D/A), Stefan Hertmans (B), Pia Hierzegger (A), Herwig G. Hoeller (A), Edgar Honetschläger (A), Sam Hopkins (I/KE), Hor 29 Novembar (A), Khaled Hourani (PS), Hector Huerga (ES), Iconoclasistas (AR), The Israeli Center for Digital Art in Holon (IL), Irwin (SLO), Janez Janša (SLO), Khaled Jarrar (PS), Anna Jermolaewa (A/RUS), Jeudi Noir (F), John Jordan / The Laboratory of Insurrectionary Imagination (GB/F), Kaddu Yaraax (SN), Don Karl aka Stone (D), Kavecs (GR), Jerry Killick (GB), Jisun Kim (ROK), Guido Kleene (NL), Nikolai Klimeniouk (RUS/UA), Bettina Knaup (D), The Kominas (USA), Michał Kozłowski / Free Slow University Warsaw (PL), Omer Krieger (IL), Leo Kühberger (A), André Lepecki (USA/BR), André Éric Létourneau (CAN), Lexxus Légal (CGO), Lawrence Liang (IND), Miguel López (PE), Sri Louise (USA), Matteo Lucchetti (I), Lucifer / Church of Kopimism (NL), Make (RUS), Mapa Teatro (CO), Oliver Marchart (A), Leónidas Martín / Enmedio Collective (ES), Masala Brass Kollektiv (A), Joana Mazza / Observatório de Favelas (BR), Tomislav Medak (HR), Antanas Mockus (CO), Moddi (N), Maryam Mohammadi (IR/A), Mao Mollona (GB), monochrom (A), Carlos Motta (CO/USA), Chantal Mouffe (GB/B), Rabih Mroué (LB), Michal Murin (SK), Marina Naprushkina (BY), Alexander Nikolic / Boem* (A), Mary Ocher (D/RUS), Jens Ohlig (D), Sofia Olascoaga (MEX), Nikolay Oleynikov and Dmitry Vilensky / Chto Delat (RUS), Giulia Palladini (I), Sibylle Peters (D), Nenad Duda Petrović (SRB), Claus Philipp (A), The Pinky Show (USA), The Piracy Project (GB), Michelangelo Pistoletto (I), Lisl Ponger (A), Srđa Popović / CANVAS (SRB), Precarious Workers Brigade (GB), Goran Sergej Pristaš (HR), Public Movement (IL), Radio Helsinki (A), Tzortzis Rallis / Occupy London Times (GB/GR), Judith Raum (D), raumlaborberlin (D), Gerald Raunig (A), Oliver Ressler (A), Reverend Billy & The Church of Stop Shopping (USA), Richard Reynolds (GB), Ultra-red (GB/USA), Scott Rigby / Basekamp (USA), Irit Rogoff (GB), Lina Saneh (LB), Imanuel Schipper (CH), Florian Schneider (D), Thomas M. Schnölzer / VolXküche feat. die Pastinaken (A), Judith Schwentner (A), Marco Scotini / Disobedience Archive (I), Salma Shamel / Mosireen (ET), Urok Shirhan Alsaedy (IRQ), Gregory Sholette (USA), Stevphen Shukaitis / Minor Compositions (USA), Amund Sjølie Sveen (N), Anders Smebye (N), Joost Smiers (NL), Laila Soliman (ET), Petr Šourek / CorruptTour (CZ), Janek Sowa / Free Slow University Warsaw (PL), Jonas Staal (NL), Ana Džokić & Marc Neelen / STEALTH.unlimited (NL/SRB), Nora Sternfeld (A), Kuba Szreder (PL), Theater im Bahnhof (A), Bert Theis (I/L), Slaven Tolj (HR), Aseem Trivedi (IND), Don Tshibanda (CGO), Klumzy Tung (GB), the vacuum cleaner (GB), Wolfgang Vacarescu (A), Nicoline van Harskamp (NL), Marina Vishmidt (GB), Voina (RUS), W.A.G.E. (USA), Klaus Walter (D), Joanna Warsza (PL), Dave Watts (GB), Hans Winkler (D), WochenKlausur (A), Michael Wrentschur (A), Stephen Wright (CAN), Salam Yousry (ET), Stephen Zepke (A/NZ), Michael Zinganel (A), Federico Zukerfeld / Etcétera... (AR).

Curated by Anne Faucheret (A/F), Veronica Kaup-Hasler (A/D), Kira Kirsch (A/D) & Florian Malzacher (A/D)

Concept and idea Florian Malzacher (A/D)

Artistic assistant Johanna Rainer (A)

Date and Facts

21/09 (2 pm) - 28/09 (4 pm)
00.00 - 24.00

Admission free

English language


Programme book published
Tue 11/09

Camp, festival centre