From 26 June until 11 October 2015, Munich’s Haus der Kunst museum, in Germany, is to host a collective exhibition entitled “Geniale Dilletanten. Subculture in Germany in the 1980s”.
“Geniale Dilletanten” was the term used to announce a concert held in Berlin’s Tempodrom in 1981. The title, deliberately misspelled, has given its name to the brief era of artistic upheaval in Germany between 1979 and 1984. Developed particularly in and around art schools, the strong subculture scenes formed in many German cities. With their use of brute noise, provocative Super 8 films, cheap photocopied fanzines, independently produced samples, design that challenged “good taste”, and a new, wild language for figurative painting and sculpture, these artists opposed the prevailing zeitgeist. The broad range of the subculture is illustrated in the exhibition through film, art, design, fashion, and portraits of seven musical bands: Einstürzende Neubauten, Die Tödliche Doris, Der Plan, Freiwillige Selbstkontrolle (F.S.K.), Palais Schaumburg, Ornament und Verbrechen, and the duo Deutsch Amerikanische Freundschaft (D.A.F.). The movement’s players met in clubs and venues such as Dusseldorf’s Ratinger Hof, Hamburg’s record store Rip Off, Berlin’s Kumpelnest, SO36, and Risiko, or at Cologne’s barber shop Penny Lane, in order to listen to music, drink, dance, and develop new ideas. At the same time, Rainer Fetting, Salomé, Markus Oehlen, and Jörg Immendorff expressed the close relationship between the music and club scenes and the art scene through their painting.
“Geniale Dilletanten” was known for being a touring exhibition designed by the Goethe Institute and has been substantially expanded for its presentation in Haus der Kunst.