Visit our Christmas Gift Finder
Permission to Laugh: Humor and Politics in Contemporary German Art (Hardback)
  • Permission to Laugh: Humor and Politics in Contemporary German Art (Hardback)
zoom

Permission to Laugh: Humor and Politics in Contemporary German Art (Hardback)

(author)
£47.50
Hardback 248 Pages / Published: 26/06/2012
  • We can order this

Usually dispatched within 1 week

  • This item has been added to your basket
"Permission to Laugh" explores the work of three generations of German artists who, beginning in the 1960s, turned to jokes and wit in an effort to confront complex questions regarding German politics and history. Gregory H. Williams highlights six of them - Martin Kippenberger, Isa Genzken, Rosemarie Trockel, Albert Oehlen, Georg Herold, and Werner Buttner - who came of age in the mid-1970s in the art scenes of West Berlin, Cologne, and Hamburg. Williams argues that each employed a distinctive brand of humor that responded to the period of political apathy that followed a decade of intense political ferment in West Germany. Situating these artists between the politically motivated art of 1960s West Germany and the trends that followed German unification in 1990, Williams describes how they no longer heeded calls for a brighter future, turning to jokes, anecdotes, and linguistic play in their work instead of overt political messages. He reveals that behind these practices is a profound loss of faith in the belief that art has the force to promulgate political change, and humor enabled artists to register this changed perspective while still supporting isolated instances of critical social commentary. Providing a much-needed examination of the development of postmodernism in Germany, "Permission to Laugh" will appeal to scholars, curators, and critics invested in modern and contemporary German art, as well as fans of these internationally renowned artists.

Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226898957
Number of pages: 248
Weight: 1179 g
Dimensions: 254 x 216 x 23 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
""Permission to Laugh "bubbles with originality. No one has managed to even begin to tackle this cluster of German artists in the 1970s and 1980s, and humor is understudied as a mode of reception and creativity within art history at large. Here, artists, critics, works, and issues fall into place, both conceptually and historically, and Gregory H. Williams's introductions to people such as Hans Platschek and to places such as the Hamburg art world and the Welt bookstore will make this book a go-to guide to the period."

--Christine Mehring, University of Chicago
"Gregory H. Williams's "Permission to Laugh" is an impressive achievement. Don't be fooled by the title, and don't expect a lot of laughs--this is a serious, rigorous, and richly nuanced examination of a generation of German artists who, in a time of deflated expectations about the social agency of their own practice, turned to humor as a critical tactic. We are not speaking here of satire, but of jokes--often seemingly stupid jokes, as in the case of Martin Kippenberger--and more subtly subversive, deconstructive forms of humor, as in the work of Georg Herold and Rosemarie Trockel. While clearly sympathetic to these efforts, Williams is first and foremost a historian, and the critical sobriety and analytical acuity with which he tells this tale make this book one of the best things I have read on the interrelation between art and politics in postwar Germany."

--Charles W. Haxthausen, Williams College
"Permission to Laugh"bubbles with originality. No one has managed to even begin to tackle this cluster of German artists in the 1970s and 1980s, and humor is understudied as a mode of reception and creativity within art history at large. Here, artists, critics, works, and issues fall into place, both conceptually and historically, and Gregory H. Williams s introductions to people such as Hans Platschek and to places such as the Hamburg art world and the Welt bookstore will make this book a go-to guide to the period.
--Christine Mehring, University of Chicago"
At once cogent, exciting, and readable. Gregory H. Williams reveals the extent to which jokes were used by the third (and final) generation of West German artists (which came into prominence in the 1980s) to articulate that which could not be introduced into public speech, bringing to the surface that which was normally hidden. "Permission to Laugh" will be an essential guide to at least one important strand of contemporary thinking about late twentieth-century art.
--Alexander Alberro, author of Conceptual Art and the Politics of Publicity"
Gregory H. Williams s "Permission to Laugh" is an impressive achievement. Don t be fooled by the title, and don't expect a lot of laughs this is a serious, rigorous, and richly nuanced examination of a generation of German artists who, in a time of deflated expectations about the social agency of their own practice, turned to humor as a critical tactic. We are not speaking here of satire, but of jokes often seemingly stupid jokes, as in the case of Martin Kippenberger and more subtly subversive, deconstructive forms of humor, as in the work of Georg Herold and Rosemarie Trockel. While clearly sympathetic to these efforts, Williams is first and foremost a historian, and the critical sobriety and analytical acuity with which he tells this tale make this book one of the best things I have read on the interrelation between art and politics in postwar Germany.
--Charles W. Haxthausen, Williams College"
"Permission to Laugh bubbles with originality. No one has managed to even begin to tackle this cluster of German artists in the 1970s and 1980s, and humor is understudied as a mode of reception and creativity within art history at large. Here, artists, critics, works, and issues fall into place, both conceptually and historically, and Gregory H. Williams's introductions to people such as Hans Platschek and to places such as the Hamburg art world and the Welt bookstore will make this book a go-to guide to the period."

--Christine Mehring, University of Chicago


"At once cogent, exciting, and readable. Gregory H. Williams reveals the extent to which jokes were used by the third (and final) generation of West German artists (which came into prominence in the 1980s) to articulate that which could not be introduced into public speech, bringing to the surface that which was normally hidden. Permission to Laugh will be an essential guide to at least one important strand of contemporary thinking about late twentieth-century art."

--Alexander Alberro, author of Conceptual Art and the Politics of Publicity


"Gregory H. Williams's Permission to Laugh is an impressive achievement. Don't be fooled by the title, and don't expect a lot of laughs--this is a serious, rigorous, and richly nuanced examination of a generation of German artists who, in a time of deflated expectations about the social agency of their own practice, turned to humor as a critical tactic. We are not speaking here of satire, but of jokes--often seemingly stupid jokes, as in the case of Martin Kippenberger--and more subtly subversive, deconstructive forms of humor, as in the work of Georg Herold and Rosemarie Trockel. While clearly sympathetic to these efforts, Williams is first and foremost a historian, and the critical sobriety and analytical acuity with which he tells this tale make this book one of the best things I have read on the interrelation between art and politics in postwar Germany."

--Charles W. Haxthausen, Williams College

You may also be interested in...

Obsolescence
Added to basket
£21.00
Paperback
Gustave Caillebotte
Added to basket
£45.00
Hardback
Critical Terms for Art History
Added to basket
Art and Truth After Plato
Added to basket
Ghost Image
Added to basket
£13.50
Paperback
What is Paleolithic Art?
Added to basket
Walls
Added to basket
£34.00
Hardback
Spiral Jetta
Added to basket
£11.50
Paperback
Pottery Analysis
Added to basket
Mark Rothko
Added to basket
£26.50
Paperback
Mutants and Mystics
Added to basket
From Boom to Bubble
Added to basket
Iconology
Added to basket
£19.50
Paperback
The Power of Images
Added to basket
What Do Pictures Want?
Added to basket

Reviews

Please sign in to write a review

Your review has been submitted successfully.