nettime's_digestive_system on Mon, 14 Feb 2000 16:51:36 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> austrian thread [continued]

 - calin dan <> : Re: <nettime> Re: sorry Mr. zizek

 - Corbinian Lehner <> : FW: Re Haider Hating

 - thomas soraperra <> : statement
   Kunsthalle Wien from Feb 4, 2000, concerning Robert Fleck

 - valery grancher <> : Re: <nettime> re_act austria

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Just 7 notes on the Austrian thread.

1. It really starts to look like a "thread" of polemical debates on an
internet list. Which is normal on one hand (nettime is just a list,
right?), and disappointing on the other (the Austrian topic is having an
immediacy that makes all discussions-without-action somehow superfluous;
but then what would be the alternative?).

2. Although not only I do sympathise with the Austrian cultural scene and
its problems, but have I also some professional involvment there (which
will be for sure dammaged by the events), I get suspicious of the obstinate
cultural orientation of the critical approach to the events.

3. I find typical for the confusion between our egos and our ideas the fact
that all started with the pumped up letter of R. Fleck, and continues more
or less on the same level of rather personalized ping-pong. The criticism
of Zizek's interpretation of Haider is the latest in line.

4. Mainstream media and nettime (which gathers, as I am left to understand,
some mainstream personalities as well), seem to aggree that Haider's  story
has no back ground (historical, cultural, political), no media aspect to
it, no wider confirmations/support/tactical acceptance from
political/economic circles worldwide. Or so I reckon from the statistical
aspect of the postings.

5. The reading of the Haider scheme as a revival of Nazism introduces a
smoke screen of emotional references to a topic that requires a lot of
clarity, since it concerns our future (doesn't it?). And by "us" I do not
mean just artists.

6. Any suggestions about some relations between the developments in former
Yugoslavia (I would include here as a detail Zizek's simplified vision on
the split of the federation - an older and interesting debate on the list)
and the Austrian solution? It looks like some of the demons confined in the
trash can of the Balkans finally made their way in the mainstream Europe
and its parliament(s).

7. A final note for cheer up Sunday afternoon: Isn't it striking how much
Haider looks like Christopher Plummer in the cult movie "The Sound of
Music"? With all its "schlager"s, that atrocious film was about resisting
the nazi invasion of Austria (through music and desertion, of course).



Calin Dan
Rozengracht 105/D4
NL-1016 LV Amsterdam
T: + 31 (0)20 770 1432
F: + 31 (0)20 623 7760

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--- Weitergeleitete email von Corbinian Lehner
--- Originalmessage von Corbinian Lehner um 08:58:38 erhalten

THis message was in my folder, but i think it's a good message for
all !


Reply-To: <>
From: Blagovesta Doncheva <>
Date: Fri, 11 Feb 2000 17:06:09 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Re Haider Hating
To: Corbinian Lehner <>


Some Questions to Anti Haider Great Warriors

Why haven't you fought against the FASCISTS AND RACISTS from USA
Clinton and Co) and FASCISTS and RACISTS from EU (like Schroeder and
Co) and
against the FASCIST and RACIST BLAIR when they were LYING and BOMBING,
BOMBING AND LYING, teaching RACIST HATRED against the Serbs? WHERE
Why haven'you fought them and their SERVANT BOY THACI THE SNAKE, A
paid KLA
tortured, killed and kicked away from Serb Kosovo Serbs, Gypsies,
Jews, burning their houses in addition? WHERE WERE YOU THEN?!!!???
Where were you when they burned and demolished historical monuments,
churches and monasteries in Serb Kosovo?
Why aren't you in the street asking the FASCIST AND RACIST BLAIR (or
FASCIST AND RACIST CLINTON) to get back their ASSASSINS from Belgrade?

Instead you line up with the same FASCISTS and RACISTS (Albright,
One, Clinton Two, Blair, Schroeder and his company from EU!!!) and go
berserk  in Vienna streets against somebody who hasn't done anything
Against somebody who has been LEGALLY elected!!!!
Clinton Administration and EU social democratic governments ARE
They have already bombed a soveriegn country because they HAVEN'T
of its LEGALLY elected government and a President!
Why doesn't anybody of you, brave ANTI FASCIST WARRIORS answer me?
That is my second letter on that subject with almost the same

Blagovesta Doncheva
the Balkans

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Vienna, Feb 4, 2000

We can understand Robert Fleck's position and relate to it, but we do not
share his opinion that a withdrawal from Austria, from art in Austria is
the right reaction. On the contrary: we think that the present situation
calls for declaring one's position for art and demonstrating one's
attitude through it.

In 1998, we rejected the impudent and infamous demand of the FPÍ to remove
the pictures of the exhibition "The Vienna Group" ("Die Wiener Gruppe")
which the squeaky-clean brigade considered as ôextraordinary filth". We
did not allow the block leaders to dictate what is to be considered right
for the Austrians' eyes and we will continue to do so.

A possible boycott on the Austrian intellectual and artistic potential and
the institutions providing a forum for it would only silence the voices
that are now more important than ever.

The Kunsthalle has acquired a political role within the present social
context, a role that requires to take up one's stance in an unequivocal
manner: a stance against the hatred for art, against xenophobia and a
cynicism hostile to man. A stance for a cosmopolitan society open to
discussion and conflict that does not attack deviant positions with a
sledgehammer but democratically looks for a dialogue.

Gerald Matt Director Kunsthalle Wien

Thomas Soraperra - public relations KUNSTHALLE WIEN Museumsplatz 1/6/1
A-1070 Vienna phone +43-1-52189-21 fax +43-1-52189-25

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I guess with you and that's why I said:
Boycott exhibit space in austria and open your space to austrain artists !!!

visit this page and include some projects, send your links:

all my best,

Valery Grancher

"Sabine Bitter, Helmut Weber" wrote:

> some further arguments concerning robert flecks call for boycotting austria:
> ______________________________________________________________________________
> As Austrian artists and cultural workers we strictly reject the current
> Austrian government. This government stands for an escalation of the
> politics of simplification, populistic agitation, growth of media
> monopolies and racist xenophobia which have increasingly governed everyday
> political life during the last year - unfortunately not soley in Austria
> (in this sense Austria is both symptomatic and particular).
> Since the OEVP enabled the FPOE to participate in the government --a party
> which has to be attributed neofascist tendencies -- for the first time we
> find ourselves confronted with a situation in which the government has to
> secure their position in front of the population by massive police
> protection: a population which makes their resistance public against this
> government by demonstrations and other various forms of social protest.
> In this context we are compelled to strongly reject the cynisism of Robert
> Fleck's current statement in which he attempts to conflate national
> socialism and the situation in Austria today -- an irresponsible and
> inconsiderate reaction in front of historical facts which minimizes the
> historical actualities of the period of national socialism and distorts
> the form of neo-racism and nationalism of the current situation. Robert
> Fleck draws a completely distorted image of the situation of artists,
> using the same kind of populistic language that we should now be
> particularly wary of and fight actively.
> Apart from that, who empowered Mr. Fleck to be the speaker in the name of
> all Austrian artists? How can he consider himself as "one of the last
> internationally active Austrian art critics"?
> The call to boycott Austrian artists and institutions is irresponsible,
> contraproductive and is equal to an incapacitation and generalization of
> actually active artists. The galleries, theatres and museums of Austria
> should now become a site for intensified social protest (from artists from
> every country)  and not abandoned as contaminated sites. To abandon these
> cultural sites plays into the FPOE's isolationist and anti-cultural
> rhetoric;  particularly at this moment, a renewed role for art as a
> materialization of social protest is called for, not a more passive
> boycotting.
> His arguments speak more of his insolence or arrogance and exaggerated
> self-esteem, leaving the international art community (being always eager
> for scandals) with panicked questions (going as far as: May I still be in
> touch with you or should I make an "official statement" by boycotting our
> personal contact?). And, even worse, his distorting statements tempt us to
> draw the conclusion that he might play consciously/unconsciously into the
> hands of the persons now in power. Analysis and effective action against
> the actually existing neo-racism within globalization and newly configured
> retrograde nationalism within Austria are needed, not mere reaction
> drawing predictable parallels which obscure actual social relations.
> Especially concerning this aspect we are eager to hear some clarifying
> re-positioning from Mr. Fleck.
> Overall, we rely on the solidarity and participation of our colleagues to
> secure the possibility for us (and them) to continue acting on an
> international platform --and to use that platform to effectively express
> our resistance.
> Sabine Bitter, Jeff Derksen, Barbara Holub, Ortrun Lanzner, Ruth Schnell,
> Guenther Selichar, Helmut Weber
> ______________________________________________________________________________
> ______________________________________________________________________________
> more links:
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