June 18, 2008 - Sternberg Press, Goethe-Institut New York - All of a Sudden | New York Book Launch and Talk
June 18, 2008

All of a Sudden | New York Book Launch and Talk

Cover by Surface, Berlin/Frankfurt am Main

Book Launch and Discussion
between Jörg Heiser and Brian Sholis

Jörg Heiser
All of a Sudden: Things that Matter in Contemporary Art

Wednesday, June 25, 2008
7 pm

Austrian Cultural Forum
11 East 52nd Street
New York, NY 10022
T: 212 319 5300



Sternberg Press is pleased to announce All of a Sudden. Things that Matter in Contemporary Art by Jörg Heiser. The Goethe-Institut New York hosts as part of the art talk series “Show & Tell” the book launch and discussion between Jörg Heiser and Brian Sholis, critic for Artforum.

Since the mid-1990s, 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 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 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.

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 with which to show off. “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 that much important 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.”

Jörg Heiser 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).

Brian Sholis is Artforum.com editor. He has written for Artforum, Parkett, and Afterall. He has contributed essays to publications accompanying exhibitions at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, the UCLA Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, and the Moderna Museet, Stockholm.

For further information about the talk, please contact Annika Schoemann, Goethe-Institut New York, at schoemann@newyork.goethe.org

RSVP to +1.212.439.8691

For press inquiries and orders please contact mail@sternberg-press.com

Jörg Heiser: All of a Sudden
Things that Matter in Contemporary Art

Translated from the German by Nicholas Grindell
June 2008, English
15.5 x 21 cm, 304 pp., 129 color and 40 b/w ill., softcover
ISBN 978-1-933128-39-9

Sternberg Press, Berlin & Goethe-Institut New York

Sternberg Press, Goethe-Institut New York
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