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Collective Approaches to Art and Politics
Foto: Lenbachhaus © Max Radler bzw. Rechtsnachfolge
February 18, 2020 - September 13, 2020
Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus
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"It is a very bad thing," Bertolt Brecht said in 1932 about the state of the then new medium of radio. "It was suddenly possible to say everything to everyone but, when you thought about it, you had nothing to say." Radio was not a platform for a new political public: Instead of explication, one heard Viennese waltzes and recipes, instead of debates nice stories. Ten years after the first radio broadcasts, Brecht was disillusioned and proposed to transform the medium from an apparatus of dissemination to one of communication.

This apparatus should not only transmit but also receive, not only allow the audience to listen, but to make them speakers and producers. Brecht formulated his reflections on a "rebellion by the listener" at the very time when radio became nationalized in Germany and increasingly exploited as an instrument of Nazi propaganda. Taking Brecht's radio theory as a starting point, the exhibition "Radio-Activity" considers artistic and political collectives and endeavors of the 1920/30s and the 1960/70s, which created their own organs and communication channels.

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