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Moderation: Klaus Lederer - Book premiere

Shattering conventions, revolutionizing perception, imagining the new - that was the spirit of radical modernism. Bertolt Brecht spoke of the great beginner's feeling. Today, all utopian optimism seems to have evaporated. Is that over once and for all?

Volksbühne
Volksbühne © visitBerlin, Foto Max Threlfall

"Not at all," says Robert Misik, countering such doom and gloom. He takes a parforceride through 200 years of left-wing art: from Heinrich Heine to Elfriede Jelinek, from Patti Smith to Soap & Skin, from Bauhaus to Gemeindebau. The rebellion against the outdated and the revolutionization of styles are still the great task of art today, just like excess and intensity. "Change the world, it needs it," Misik says with old Brecht. He outlines an aesthetic program beyond commerce, entertainment and the eternally already.

Robert Misik, born in Vienna in 1966, is a journalist and political writer. Edition suhrkamp most recently published his essay Die falschen Freunde der einfachen Leute, which was awarded the Bruno Kreisky Prize for the Political Book 2019.

(Program in German)
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Volksbühne - Roter Salon