Art Nazi

What Art is not

Ran across a brief and concise article¹ in Cicero on-line recently by Beat Wyss, Professor of design at Hochschule für Gestaltung in Karlsruhe, Germany in which Wyss ends with the assertion:

"Wer Riefenstahl als Popikone verharmlost, verwechselt Kunst mit Werbung."
(English: Those who trivialize Riefenstahl as a pop icon confuse art with advertising.)
[translation by the author of this blog]

Bundesarchiv_Bild_183–S34639_Joshep_Goebbels_und_Leni_Rirfenstahl_crop.jpg

Image: Bundesarchiv Bild 183-S34639, Joseph Goebbels und Leni Riefenstahl crop.jpg
Source: German Federal Archive via Wikipedia.
Creative Commons License: CC BY-SA Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Germany.

… which recalls the slippery ice we find ourselves on when discussing good vs. poor-quality art, art vs. pornography, or as in this case art vs. advertising/propaganda. I was re-researching for myself the vita of Werner von Braun when i came across this article in the contest of the sculptor Arno Breker, and found myself deeply enmired in the question of work-in-the-service-of-  “… ? …”!

* BTW: to me, an entirely new use of the word “Entnazifizierung” in this article. Until now i would have called the removal of Nazi elements from society “Entnazifizierung”. The sort of white washing Wyss is alluding to is what i associated with the phrase, receiving a “Persilschein“.

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¹ Wyss, Beat: Leni Riefenstahl – Hoffentlich wird sie nicht entnazifiziert. In: cicero.de (Salon). Date: 5 Sep 2012. URL: http://www.cicero.de/salon/leni-riefenstahl-olympische-spiele-hoffentlich-wird-sie-nicht-entnazifiziert/51756. Last viewed: 09 Apr 2015.

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