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Book cover of Was ist Kunst, IRWIN?: HMKV 2023/2, with a group of men in suits, holding stuffed animals. Published by Verlag Kettler.

Was ist Kunst, IRWIN?

HMKV 2023/2

By (author) Inke Arns
By (author) Thibaut de Ruyter


Publishing 11th Mar 2024
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    • Published to mark the 40th anniversary of the Slovenian artists’ collective
    Full Description

    This volume is published to mark the 40th anniversary of the artists’ collective Rrose Irwin Sélavy and to accompany the exhibition at HMKV Dortmund. Since 1983, IRWIN has been investigating the art history of Eastern Europe, especially the ambivalent legacy of the historical avant-garde and its totalitarian successors, i.e. the dialectic of avant-garde and totalitarianism. Since the 1990s, the focus of the group has been on challenging the art history of “Western Modernism” in a critical and iconoclastic way. The artists playfully and darkly contrast it with the “retro avant-garde” and an “Eastern Modernism”.

    The book, which can be read from both sides, is made up of two parts: the first chapter explores the black humour that is a consistent element in IRWIN’s work. The second chapter examines issues relating to the state – and how IRWIN uses them to comment on current topics such as migration.

    Text in English and German.

    Verlag Kettler
    Publish date
    11th Mar 2024
    Paperback / softback
    World excluding Germany, Austria, Switzerland
    240 mm x 170 mm
    286 Pages
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