Bazon Brock

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Bazon Brock at the See-Conference 2017
Bazon Brock and the artist Andreas Paeslack in 2004 as patrons of the project "In the Name of Art"

Bazon Brock (actually Jürgen Johannes Hermann Brock ; born June 2, 1936 in Stolp in Pomerania) is a professor emeritus for aesthetics and cultural mediation at the Bergische Universität Wuppertal , "thinker on duty", "artist without work" and art theorist . Brock is considered a representative of the Fluxus movement .


“I come 'from the East', hence where Poland is today. And where Poland will stay. I was born in Stolp / Pom. When the Popular Front closed in France, to the exact day - and at the same hour and minute at which Mr. de SADE was born.

Well, you know how it works ... Teachers on the mother's side and people from Strasbourg , ( sic !) Hard-heads on the father's side [...]. He [the grandfather] justified, 'Herm. Brock bread factory '. "

During the Second World War, Brock suffered severe poisoning from a phosphorus bomb , from which he still suffers today. His father was sentenced to death by the Soviet military and shot:

“When I was 8 3/4 years old, I took part in the final phase of the war as a child warrior in the ruins of Danzig , Zopot , Oliva , Gothenhafen ( sic !) And Hela . Then I spent weeks in hospitals and 30 months in refugee camps. I lost my father and home with house and yard and all the family's possessions; My two younger siblings and a small cousin starved to death in the camp - like all children under 4 years in Danish refugee camps in 1945/46. "

After fleeing from Pomerania across the Baltic Sea and two years in the Danish refugee camp, he came to Itzehoe and attended the Kaiser-Karl-Schule Itzehoe humanistic grammar school there . The name Bazon comes from Brock's teacher Max Tiessen. Brock writes about this in his early publication Bazon Brock, what are you doing now? from 1968 that he converted this humiliating name into a name of honor: (*)

“Bazon is the 'babbler', derived from the Greek bazo. Obviously, the director of studies, Max TIESSEN, had reason to give me this name. In Latin [meaning the Latin class] my name was Sophie, the wisdom. I kept to the tradition of nicknames. Insulting labels become names of honor. Chatterer Brock seemed to me to be well advanced from abuse to honor. The social form of correspondence 'chatting' has established itself in the area of ​​my subject. "

Note on the quote:
(*) The verb βάζειν bázein (infinitive) or βάζω bázo ( basic lexical form ) means “to talk, to speak”, but also to “chat”. Bazon, ancient Greek βάζων ([ ˈbatsoːn ]) , is the associated present participle active , literally "chattering, the chatterer", and can be translated as "the chatterer". “Sophie”, more precisely sophia , is not Latin , but also Greek ( σοφία ); however, the translation is correct. Nonetheless, Latin adopted many Greek terms in antiquity and the teachers may really have called it that. The real Latin equivalent would be Sapientia .

From 1957 he completed his dramaturgy training with Rudolf Sellner and Claus Bremer at the Landestheater Darmstadt and from 1960 worked as a dramaturge, initially at the Stadttheater Luzern . From 1957 to 1964 he studied German , philosophy and political science in parallel in Zurich, Hamburg and Frankfurt am Main. Also from 1957 he wrote his first action pieces and there were first publications, e.g. B. the poetry book Kotflügel, Kotflügel (Itzehoe / Basel 1957). The subject of art, with which he is often associated, he did not study at a university. Nevertheless, he is considered a proven art connoisseur, both historical and contemporary works. Together with Friedensreich Hundertwasser , Joseph Beuys , Wolf Vostell , Nam June Paik , Tomas Schmit and others, he took part in artistic activities and happenings . For example, he was involved in the Festival of New Art on April 20, 1964 in Aachen and in 1965 in the 24-hour happening at the Parnass Gallery in Wuppertal.

Bazon Brock on May 1, 2006 in Cologne on the occasion of his exhibition in the Museum Ludwig - establishing a fountain oracle at the Dionysus fountain

After completing his studies and his first teaching assignments, Brock was appointed full professor (1965–1976) at the University of Fine Arts in Hamburg , in 1970 as a guest lecturer for art theory and new media at the Cologne Werkschulen , later, between 1977 and 1980, as a professor at the university for applied arts Vienna . He then took over the professorship for aesthetics and cultural mediation at the Bergische Universität Wuppertal, where he retired in 2001 .

On November 21, 1992 he was awarded an honorary doctorate in technical sciences by the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich and in 2012 an honorary doctorate from the Karlsruhe University of Design. In 2014 he received the honorary professorship for prophecy at HBKsaar, Saarbrücken. In 2010 Brock was a Fellow at the Friedrich Nietzsche College of the Weimar Classic Foundation. He is a member of the PEN Club Liechtenstein , a center of the international writers' association PEN. In 2004 he was awarded the Federal Cross of Merit, 1st class. In 2016 he received the Von der Heydt Prize of the city of Wuppertal and in 2017 the Austrian Cross of Honor for Science and Art 1st Class.

From 2011 to 2019 he ran the Denkerei with the “Office for Work on Insoluble Problems” in Berlin, which has continued as “Denkerei mobil” with events at different locations since the site was closed. Brock lives in Wuppertal- Cronenberg and Berlin.


Quote from Bazon Brock on a sign in Berlin (Sophie-Gips-Höfe)

Brock's main areas of work and the most important theorems can be found in his work: Bazon Brock: THEOREME. He lived, loved, taught and died. What was he thinking? Edited by Marina Sawall. Cologne: Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König, 2017, which offers a good overview and introduction to Brock's thinking and his work. Nicola Stratmann's book Bazon Brock: Der Selbstfesselungskünstler and Andrea Seyfarth's dissertation “Self-reflective avant-garde” offer a good overview of Bazon Brock's work . Bazon Brock on innovation and innovation and tradition ”(Friedrich Schiller University Jena, 2020).

Aesthetics as mediation

Brock coined the term “aesthetics as mediation” in his book of the same name from 1977, in which he lists his most important publications from 1957-1977 and all the events he has completed up to then and also presents many of them. The “aesthetics as mediation” is at the same time his central teaching and action concept, which also includes the action teaching pieces - so-called “action teachings” with “theoretical objects”. Brock also describes the “theoretical objects” (e.g. the “zipper dress” (1967), the “literature sheets” (1967–70) or the “golden chopsticks” (1980/2013)) as “cognitive tools” because he regards them as tools of knowledge with which he tries to make abstract theories clear. He also uses them in the “citizen and visitor schools” that he founded. The latter aim to make citizens more professional (sub-groups are recipients, consumers, patients, voters and believers). His concern is to support the audience in finding orientation in everyday life, withstanding contradictions, "mastering" unsolvable problems, and giving their life a context of meaning through personality development and strengthening of judgment. In addition to the visitor schools, the General Studies The Professionalized Citizen (2010–2012) at the HfG Karlsruhe was exemplary. Action teachings and exhibitions that specifically relate to it are, for example: "A-men, B-men" (1966), "I stage your life" (1970), becoming a personality ... to the highest happiness on earth (1978), " Self-excitement - a rhetorical opera to force emotions ”(1986-1991).

“Aesthetics as mediation” includes the “non- normative aesthetics” founded by Brock in the mid-1960s , in which normative aesthetic theories “in favor of the observational and descriptive unfolding of phenomena” in everyday life are abandoned and new forms of teaching are sought. Brock then found this with the “Action Teachings” and “theoretical objects” as tools of knowledge.

Action teaching

The form of communication of action teaching (action teaching piece) is a central part of the “aesthetics as communication”. The audience becomes the real actor.

"The notion of the 'Action Teaching' I used (as Allan Kaprow ) since 1959. For my generation, so for people who were active from the late 50's, has Robert Filliou in his 1970 at Walther König published work, teaching and Learning as performing arts' marks the positions. Back then, Filliou was running his 'gallery on the guarded head' in Paris. I met him more or less regularly together with Daniel Spoerri . It was important to us all to develop investigative art analogous to investigative journalism, in which artists and audiences alike participated. In the happening, for example, it was intended that actors and spectators were included in problematizing specifications, but the audience's expectations were too strongly tied to social events such as parties and celebrations or having fun in the event of overbidding. We found that the relationship between action and reception should be reduced to the core: to the parallel swinging of speaker and listener, to the response of the teacher in the learner, to the reflection of what is presented in the eyes of the curious, to the pair skating of the artist and Audience. The audience should be made to understand reception activity as an activity and no longer as a passive reception. I chose 'Action Teaching' because the audience itself teaches the speaker, the rhetorician, the artist, the presenter something in the way it is received, who in turn does not only deal situationally with what is happening in the audience, but that Demands the audience as the real actor. "

Visitor school

At the Kassel documenta 4 1968 Brock set up a "visitor school" for the first time, which was intended to convey understanding and acquisition techniques for contemporary art to the documenta visitors :

“The programs were presented as multivisions (slide, video, film, tape). About ten times a week I also held the visitor school live as action teaching. "

“During the visitor school for documenta 4 (Kassel 1968) I tried to make the endurance run through the contemporary art scene easier for my self-paying audience by making some refreshing stops. One of them consisted of the request to comply with the everyday tendency in front of a painting: 'The picture speaks to me.' Each participant should only train himself to listen to the image as a form of reception. Look, but only listen. Who speaks when the picture speaks? "

In the form of an “audiovisual foreword” Brock offered his visitor school to documenta 5 in 1972, curated by Harald Szeemann , in the conception of which he played a major role. There were other visitor schools at documenta 6 1977 and documenta 7 1982. For documenta 8 1987 he developed his visitor school concept in the form of a television, radio and catalog contribution and for documenta 9 1992 as a video (entitled The Body of the Art Viewer ).

Topics of the visitor schools:

  • “The exit from the wall - the suspension of the image in the environment. The speaking image is there "(documenta 4)
  • "On the question of the reality claim of images" (documenta 5)
  • “The meaning is not in things like the cookie in the box. Meaning arises through differentiation. "(Documenta 6)
  • "The ugliness of the beautiful" (documenta 7)
  • "Self-restraint artist between seeker gangs and entertainment idiots" (documenta 8)
  • "The body of the art viewer" (documenta 9)

Fundamental to the development of the visitor school as an early form of art communication was Brock's claim to “enable the audience to evaluate what is shown by letting it get to know what is not shown”. The visitor school was his reaction to the fact that - probably for cost reasons - “none of those responsible […] agreed with my idea of ​​organizing two documentas to professionalize the viewer. A documenta, where the latest and most important art is presented, and a second, which showed what was not exhibited. In terms of professionalism, it is necessary for the viewer to know what the curator is showing. But he can only know that if he has knowledge of what the curator is not showing. "

In the 1980s and 1990s he continued the visitor school at the art fairs Art Frankfurt and Art Basel . In May and June 2009 Brock resumed his approach with a daily school for visitors on the occasion of the exhibition 60 Years - 60 Works, Art from the Federal Republic of Germany in the Martin-Gropius-Bau in Berlin.

As a contemporary further development of the visitor school, Bazon Brock initiated the Studium Generale Der professionalized Bürger at the State University of Design in Karlsruhe in 2010 . For three years there were free training offers for "diploma recipients, diploma patients, diploma consumers, graduated citizens and graduated believers". Another addition is the Denkerei in Berlin-Kreuzberg , which had to leave the rooms on Oranienplatz on May 1, 2019 . The concept of thinking is carried on with events at changing locations.

Further topics and theorems

  • "Apocalyptic thinking" : Only with apocalyptic thinking in the sense of "thinking from the end" or "counting on the end" can well-founded optimism be gained. Humans can use the ability to anticipate to evaluate what is "within the realm of the possible, in terms of its effect on the real."
  • “Archeology of Everyday Life”: Striving to see the past as the present. "Therein lies the possibility of seeing the present not only as an irrefutable consequence of what has been, but as a historical appearance of what would be possible or in the future."
  • "Aesthetics of omission" : Brock wants to use omission as a strategy of "self-restraint" to create "a third position of action between perpetrator philosophy and victim theology" that "dominates our previous cultural-historical discussion". See also the group “Ascetics of Luxury” founded in Munich in 2007 with Wolfgang Ullrich , Stephanie Senge and Bazon Brock. Her motto is: “Asceticism means the ethics of omission as the most demanding form of action.” See also the subsections “History of what did not happen” and “Forbidden emergency”.
  • “Enlightenment as a disappointment ”: “Liberation from deception can only be achieved if it is believed to be possible at any time. So, enlightenment can only ever succeed through disappointment. "
  • “Authority through authorship”: It is based on the freedom of the arts and sciences. The author has been since the 14th century (e.g. with Petrarch ) “whoever justifies his statements exclusively by himself”, behind whom there is no further authority such as church, market or a prince. Since they had no power behind them, the authors have since been forced “to make their statements so 'interesting' that they were not followed either in fear of being punished for disregard or in the hope of reward for flattering consent - it was rather about the things themselves ”. Brock sees this principle as a unique European selling point, which is pre-shaped in Christianity in the direct relationship of the individual to God.
  • Avant-garde theory: According to Brock, avant-garde is “only that which forces us to build up new traditions.” The decisive factor is not to bring something completely new into the world, because “if something is actually new, then it is nothing but new, has none other provisions "; rather, the avant-garde succeed in changing the view of the old in such a way that it "suddenly appears as if you had never seen it before".
  • “Barbar als Kulturheld” : the book of the same name with writings from the years 1991–2002 was published in 2002. The barbarian as a cultural hero embodies cultural heroism, which even some artists cannot escape when they follow a religious belief, an ideology or also subordinated to the interests of the art market, instead of trying, as the advocate of the principle of “authority through authorship” propagated by Brock, to just make his own statements and to be prepared to forego success and recognition: “Well-meaning contemporaries should the assertion that the barbarian was the decisive figure for artists in the 20th century goes against the grain. These sensitive feelers have become accustomed to regard the cultural work of visual artists, writers, architects and musicians as the opposite of barbarism. It is only too happy to claim that those who work in culture represent the creative and good in people, which they defended with their works against the grip of power, egoism and cultural indifference. Although one can sympathize with such longing - the longing for the beautiful image of the opposition of high art and lower market interests, of pure work ideas and dirty politics - this image cannot with the best will in the history of art creation in the 19th and 20th centuries to confirm."
  • "Container science" / Containment (e.g. of nuclear waste, especially in the conception of the "Cathedrals for radiant waste", see also "Consumption and waste theory")
  • Image science (including topics such as "visual language", "image war" / "image dispute"), see z. B. the chapter "The Reality Claims of Pictures - From Image War to Visitor Training" in: Bazon Brock: Aesthetics as Mediation. Edited by Karla Fohrbeck. Cologne: DuMont, 1977, p. 264 ff., In which several texts from this subject area are collected.
  • “Citizens' and visitor schools” (see “Aesthetics as mediation”, sub-item “Visitor schools” and the overview page on the Bazon Brock website)
  • Design theory (see the overview page "Design" on the website of Bazon Brock for the various publications and campaigns in this area; in 1972 he established the term "socio-design" as the "influence of design on its users" "Design of guide bars in front of counters (...) the social formation 'standing in line'. Therefore, information means adjusting to a social form.")
  • "Evidence criticism by generating evidence" and "faking" (see, for example: "Art as evidence criticism - knowledge creation through true falsehood")
  • "Experimental cultural historiography" : In texts and action teachings on this theorem, Brock shows that even the unrealized opportunities that have been or could have been offered in life - be it in the choice of partner, place of residence or career - also determine further life : "Every sense of the real provokes the sense of the possible and every realization of a possibility evokes the insatiable desire to keep other possibilities open."
  • “Rumorology” (thus he founded the “Institute for Rumor Propagation” in 1961): The “knowledgeable rumor propagator” is aware “that his stories about the absentee are projections, i. H. Try to copy yourself into what is being told. Rumors say more about those who spread them, inevitably deviating and varying, than about the people or events to whom they appear to apply. "
  • “History of what has not happened” (see also “Aesthetics of omission”): “So cultural history, like history in general, will necessarily have to be written from the point of view of omission and prevention. Because , according to our theorem of the forbidden emergency , the calibration of cultural activities is always to be carried out against the standard of what has not happened because something has been actively neglected, which is why those events are to be included in historiography and political prospecting as decisive, great or momentous that did not happen because they were prevented. The history of what did not happen, the history of preventing, failing or not doing, has to be developed in political, social and, above all, cultural terms. "
  • "Dog science / cynology" : numerous events on this topic have taken place in the Berlin think tank.
  • "Cabaret Reason" : a concept based on the criticizing function of cabaret and at the same time the title of the two-volume work "Critique of Cabaret Reason" (Berlin: Fern-Verlag, 2016 (vol. 1) and 2020 (vol. 2))
  • Consumption and garbage theory: since the 1960s Brock has carried out campaigns on consumer behavior in the throwaway society, where he repeatedly points out that concepts of "bringing out of the world" are necessary for "bringing into the world" must belong. [1] Actions on this topic are, for example, “God and Garbage” as part of the action teaching “Lustmarsch durch Theoriegelände” (2006) or “The consumer as a world devourer” with Stephanie Senge and Wolfgang Ullrich , Munich 2007 (DVD 2010)) [ 2]
  • cultural identity (especially using the example of Europe , for which he proclaims "unity through diversity", where it is important to appreciate each other, because "only through the recognition of the differences between the national cultural states can their unity develop. [... ] A 'good European' knows how to relate the characteristics of competing cultures to one another and thus recognize them in their uniqueness. ")
  • “Art and War” : This topic was discussed by the “Research Group on Culture and Strategy” at two congresses in Berlin and Bonn in 2001, also in view of the attacks on the New York World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. The result was “the diagnosis of a startling one There is a close connection between war and culture in all its branches: from television entertainment to historical paintings, from architecture to design of destruction, from computer games to inhumane, because without humans, armed forces - everywhere, the “cultural mankind” orients itself towards barbaric emergencies des Krieges. ”(From the blurb of the publication War and Art , edited by Bazon Brock and Gerline Koschik, with contributions by Bazon Brock, Dirk Baecker , Chantal Mouffe , Boris Groys , Friedrich Kittler , Klaus Theweleit , Peter Sloterdijk et al. Munich 2002 ).
  • Art mediation (see "Aesthetics as Mediation" and the "Visitor Schools") and "Theoretical Art"
  • Memorial and memory theater (another form of "aesthetics as mediation"), implemented, for example, as part of the action teaching "Lust march through the theory ground" (2006)
  • “Mihilism” : Brock coined this term. He sees it as a counterpart to egoism and the compulsion for self-realization, which would have increased so much that one “can no longer rely on you”. Mihilism means that "what is expected of me as an individual, in terms of judgments, responsibilities, risks, without being adequately or specially equipped or qualified for them".
  • "Musealization as a civilization strategy " : Brock presented this theorem in his action teaching "Lustmarsch durch Theoriegelände" (2006 in 11 museums and theaters in 11 cities). This action was the call "Get fit to be seen as a museum in the world Make yourselves into a museum! "Brock assumes that Europe's future lies in being a museum in which" Europe's achievements such as democracy, the rule of law, the welfare state, secularization, the dignity of the individual, freedom of science and the arts " On the other hand, according to Nicole Stratmann, Brock sees museumisation as an opportunity not only to “store as much of the past as possible in the museum”, but also to “unfold futures in the present as opportunities for action”.
  • “Negative Affirmation” / “Affirmation Strategy” : This theorem, which is about “achieving resistance through 150% approval”, can best be explained with two quotes from Bazon Brock: “The strongest force of resistance is yes -Say. "" The term negative affirmation should mean that the explicit affirmation of a statement should not be about accepting it - even as a statement of truth; rather, it is about resolving the consequences of the statement claim by itself through an unconditional affirmation. "
  • “Neural Aesthetics” and “Imaging Sciences” / Visual Sciences : Brock established these focal points in the “Architecture, Art, Design, Music” department of the Bergische Universität Wuppertal, of which he was dean. As early as October 1978, Brock presented the neurophysiological foundations of all aesthetics as part of the Styrian Autumn in Graz . In 1993 , the symposium Neuronal Aesthetics - Images of the Brain and Images of Man , organized by Olaf Breidbach , Bazon Brock and Detlef B. Linke , took place in Bonn :

“The 'Neural Aesthetics' is intended to mark the attempt to develop the conceptual version of neural processes themselves as an aesthetic operation and to use corresponding analogies between 'natural', everyday activations of their worldview apparatus that can be controlled by everyone and the worldview-constituting operations of scientists and engineers Artists who only have the same apparatus as everyone else to create expanded and modified confrontations of the spirit and the principle of life with their embodiment forms. "

- Bazon Brock
  • “Normative power of the counterfactual” : In contrast to Georg Jellinek's “normativity of the factual”, Brock speaks of the “normativity of the counterfactual”:

“Cultures cannot recognize any reality other than their own; this reality is essentially determined by other cultures, which one either tries to force under one's own power or, if this does not succeed, aggressively uses them as hostile antipodes to strengthen one's own internal cohesion. After all, cultures are communities struggling to survive. To even question one's own cultural and religious certainties would be tantamount to willingness to give up on oneself. In order to prevent this, all cultures and religious communities subject their members to the normativity of the counterfactual, ie the binding enforcement of self-certainties precisely because they do not agree with those of others. "

  • “Working on fundamentally unsolvable problems”  : The focus is on the understanding that there are problems that all people see themselves confronted with and that cannot be solved - even if one always hopes to be able to find solutions. According to Brock, an example of this is the storage of radioactive waste with its extremely long half-life. Every “solution” can only be a partial solution, since it creates new problems. Another example of this are the side effects of drugs. Brock carries out the “work on unsolvable problems” specifically with his audience. With his lectures and actions, he wants to point out ways in which a society and also each individual can deal with the insight into insolubility in order not to have to give up. In this way these problems could not be solved, but at least "mastered". [3] See also the thinking founded by Bazon Brock with the “Office for work on unsolvable problems”.
  • Polemosophy: Bazon Brock sees himself as a polemosopher who radically criticizes: "When it was said in Greece that the polemos was the initiator, the father of all things, then that is not the war, as it is always translated, but actually the criticism, d. H. the ability to contest validity claims in the most radical way. "
  • Ruin theory: “Everything that arises is worth because it perishes. We have to learn to judge the present as the future past. "
  • Theology with a focus on "Unity of Faith and Knowledge" [4] , "Immanent Transcendence", "Technotheology" and "Theopoesy"
  • “Theoretical objects” , also “cognitive tools” / knowledge tools (see “Aesthetics as Mediation”) and the overview page on the Bazon Brock website
  • Forbidden emergency” : The requirement to forbid the emergency and to contrast it with the normal case as a desirable permanent state is part of Brock's civilization strategy, which, in view of the catastrophes of the 20th century, is expressed in the aforementioned “aesthetic of omission” and the hint expresses the meaning of the “history of what did not happen”.
  • Virtual Reality - Realized Virtuality” : “A whole generation has been seduced by e-Gurus to speak of and make use of worlds of signs as virtual realities . But reality is simply not a reality if it is virtual. Simple conceptual work would make it possible to rectify the fact that the above-mentioned signaling processes are realized virtuality, i.e. materially represented thoughts, ideas, concepts and similar intra-psychic operations. By nature we are under pressure to objectify, scientifically speaking that means we are dependent on embodiment , i.e. the embodiment of spiritual, spiritual, emotional and other intrapsychic forces, since these forces only prove to be given when they are perceptible elements, as entities prove to our world. With a little attention to the terms, we then understand that it is about realized virtuality, i.e. realized virtuality instead of virtual realities , in order to defend ourselves as best we can from the bewitching of the mind by the fraudulent signaling. "
  • "Work is a discarded tool" (see "Aesthetics as mediation" and the "theoretical objects")
  • "Civilization of Cultures" (see also "Museumization as a Civilization Strategy")

Brock is a member of the "Research Family of Fine Sciences". This “ fruitful society ” deals primarily with cultural genetics in order to develop concepts for the civilization of cultures. The results will be published in the series “Aesthetics and Natural Sciences” by Springer-Verlag Vienna / New York.

Actions (selection)

  • The big Hamburg line (theoretical object and literary action with Friedensreich Hundertwasser ) Hamburg / State University of Fine Arts December 18-20, 1959.
  • Thursday manifestos (with Hermann Goepfert and partly Rochus Kowallek), Hauptwache, Frankfurt a. M. 1962, among them: "Gilding of the environment", "Heia Safari" "You pigeons, they want you angry", "We wait for the death of ...", "Imperative norms of command".
  • War to the huts, peace to the palaces. Request for happy bombs on the German urinal landscape , action and manifesto, Frankfurt am Main and Berlin / Galerie Sydow 1963.
  • The German animal and its masters , Hanover 1963 and Paris Biennale 1963.
  • Bloomsday with the Bloomzeitung (theoretical object based on the reproduced picture edition of 8 April 1963) and the campaign “Des liebe Springer Divided Germany” in the Loehr Gallery and on the Hauptwache, Frankfurt a. M. June 15, 1963. Repetition in 1964 in Düsseldorf and 1965 in Berlin / Galerie Block
  • "Do you want total war? Action on July 20th “as part of the Festival of New Art at the TH Aachen on July 20th, 1964. Other participants were: Eric Andersen, Joseph Beuys , Stanley Brouwn , Henning Christiansen , Robert Filliou , Ludwig Gosewitz , Arthur Koepcke , Tomas Schmit , Ben Vautier , Wolf Vostell , Emmett Williams . It was organized by Valdis Abolins and Tomas Schmit.
  • Agit-Pop (Brock) - Fluxus ( Beuys ) - De-Coll / age ( Vostell ) . Action in the courtyard of the ZDF editorial office in Düsseldorf and live broadcast by ZDF on December 11th, 1964 (Brock gave a lecture entitled “The Silence of the Fathers”). The action was a continuation of the festival of new art at the TH Aachen, which was canceled by the police.
  • The sentence. 24 hours. Literary campaign and recipient training as part of the 24-hour happening in Wuppertal, June 5, 1965. Other participants in the 24-hour happening were Joseph Beuys , Charlotte Moorman , Nam June Paik , Eckhart Rahn, Tomas Schmit and Wolf Vostell . An extensive publication has also appeared on the campaign.
  • Theater of the position. A dramatized magazine. Action theater as part of Experimenta 1, Frankfurt / Städtische Bühnen 1966 and text in: Theater heute 7/1966.
  • Throwaway movement , u. a. in Berlin 1967 and at the annual conference of the Association of German Architects (BDA) in Hanover, June 1967.
  • Literature sheets. 18 different versions, edition of 200 pieces. Theoretical objects and gallery actions in the years 1967 to 1970. Including: "Death must be abolished ..."
  • At the bottom. Love is work too. Action theater and program booklet text as part of Experimenta 3, Frankfurt / Städtische Bühnen 1969. Directed by Dieter Reible, Wieland Schulz-Keil, Frieder Anders
  • Pentecost sermon , action theater, performed as part of Experimenta 4 / Frankfurt 1971 (Hauptwache); Text printed in: Karlheinz Braun, Peter Iden (Ed.): New German Theater. Munich / Diogenes 1971.
  • Show your dearest good - show your dearest good , Internationales Designzentrum Berlin 1977.
  • True art. The museum shop as a cabinet of curiosities , since 1997 in various cities (including Linz, Frankfurt a. M., Dortmund).
  • The power of old age. Mastery strategies , Berlin, Bonn, Stuttgart 1998/99.
  • Pleasure march through the theory area. Museum yourselves! , 2006 in 11 cities (Frankfurt a. M .: Schirn Kunsthalle; Berlin: Volksbühne am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz; Munich: House of Art ; Karlsruhe: ZKM - Center for Art and Media; Leipzig: Museum of Fine Arts ; Cologne: Museum Ludwig ; Graz: Neue Galerie am Landesmuseum Joanneum ; Hannover: Kestnergesellschaft ; Wuppertal: Von der Heydt-Museum ; Hamburg: Falckenberg Collection ; Pfäffikon / Switzerland: Perforum-Seedamm Kulturzentrum) - On the occasion of his 70th birthday in 2006, Brock took stock and sketched in a pleasure march that runs through eleven stations eleven topologies that he has dealt with for 50 years in literature, theater, aesthetics, film, television, radio, action teaching and exhibitions.
  • Museumization as a strategy for civilizing cultures , since 2007 in various places, e.g. B. as a celebration of the "Day of World Civilization" (November 24th, since "President Ataturk [on November 24th, 1934] with an ingenious decree [has] determined that the Great Mosque of Istanbul, the former Hagia Sophia" should be in a museum should be converted), for the first time in 2007 in the Badisches Landesmuseum Karlsruhe and in 2008 in the Mendelssohn Remise Berlin, later also several times in the Denkerei in Berlin founded by Brock in Berlin.
  • Prophets in residence - oracles or determination of the future, 2010 in the German Historical Museum Berlin.
  • Pythagoras in Delphi. On the aesthetics of global unity , 2010 at the Karlsruhe University of Design .
  • Thinking / Office for work on unsolvable problems and high-hand measures , since 2011



  • Bazon Phönix Phlebas (Bazon Brock): fenders, fenders. Verlag EA George, Itzehoe 1957. (New edition by Verlag Faber & Faber 2006.)
  • THE TERRIBLE . Application of the principle of incapacity (volume of poetry with structures by Bernhard Childs ) Basel / Panderma Verlag Carl Laszlo 1960 (Dädalus series, volume 3)
  • Bazon Brock, what are you doing now? (Autobiography). J. Melzer, Darmstadt, 1968.
  • Aesthetics as mediation. Working biography of a generalist , ed. by Karla Fohrbeck . DuMont Kunstverlag, Cologne 1977, ISBN 3-7701-0671-7
  • Aesthetics versus forced immediacy. The seeker gang. Writings 1978–1986 , ed. by Nicola von Velsen. DuMont Buchverlag, Cologne 1986, ISBN 3-7701-1976-2
  • The Re-Decade: Art and Culture of the 80s . Klinkhardt and Biermann, Munich 1990, ISBN 3-7814-0288-6
  • The power of old age. Mastery strategies , catalog for the exhibition in Berlin, Bonn and Stuttgart. DuMont, Cologne 1998, ISBN 3-7701-4652-2 .
  • The world at your feet. The floor in view: Naturwerk - Artwork - Vorwerk. DuMont, Cologne 1998, ISBN 3-7701-4483-X
  • Lock book Bazon Brock. 'If you give a piece, give it in pieces at once' . DuMont, Cologne 2000, ISBN 3-7701-5436-3
  • The barbarian as a cultural hero . Bazon Brock III: Collected Writings 1991–2002, Aesthetics of Inaction, Critique of Truth - How to Become Who You Are Not . Dumont Literature and Art Verlag, Cologne 2002, ISBN 3-8321-7149-5
  • Iconoclasm and strict demeanor. Texts 1968 to 1996 , selected and a foreword by Rolf Sachsse, Verlag der Kunst, Philo Fine Arts, Dresden 2002 (Fundus-Bücher; 155), ISBN 3-364-00395-5
  • Pleasure march through the theory area. Museum yourselves! With an introduction by Peter Sloterdijk . DuMont, Cologne 2008, ISBN 978-3-8321-9024-8
  • with Hans Ulrich Reck : Utopia and Critique of Evidence. Discursive Twin Towers / Theorieturnier der Dioskuren - first volume , ed. by Christian Bauer, Verlag Philo Fine Arts, Hamburg 2010 (Fundus-Bücher; 185), ISBN 978-3-86572-584-4
  • with Hans Ulrich Reck : camouflaging and deceiving. Discursive Twin Towers / Theorieturnier der Dioskuren - second volume , ed. by Christian Bauer, with e. Picture contribution by Werner Nekes, Verlag Philo Fine Arts, Hamburg 2010 (Fundus-Bücher; 186), ISBN 978-3-86572-584-4
  • Critique of Cabaret Reason. An autobiographical rumor of broken pieces . Vol. 1, Fern-Verlag, Berlin 2016, ISBN 978-3-95476-163-0
  • THEOREMS. He lived, loved, taught and died. What was he thinking? , ed. by Marina Sawall, Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König, Cologne 2017, ISBN 978-3-96098-001-8 (new edition 2020)
  • Europe is not yet lost. Critique of Cabaret Reason. Vol. 2, ed. by Marina Sawall, Distance Publishing, 2020, ISBN 978-3-95476-336-8


A selection of other publications

Video documentaries


TV productions

  • Art and Ketchup - A Report on Pop Art and Happenings. Südfunk Stuttgart, 1966. Directed by Elmar Hügler. Joseph Beuys , Bazon Brock, Charlotte Moorman , Nam June Paik , Wolf Vostell u. a. are shown in early happenings.
  • The philosopher comes to town . A transmitter experiment. Action in Cologne and live broadcast in the Wünsch Dir was series , Westdeutscher Rundfunk, May 1969. [5]
  • What does it mean and at what end does one study universal history? 15-minute action (live broadcast) in the Wünsch Dir was series , Radio Bremen television, 1970.
  • Aesthetics in the everyday world. Sender Free Berlin, 1973. Conference and film with Bazon Brock, Tilman Buddensieg , Matthias Eberle , Walter Hess, Heinrich Klotz , Martin Warnke , Wolfgang Kemp , Rudolf Knubel, Erwin Palm, Norbert Elias , Rudolf Arnheim , Carlo Giulio Argan (Rome), Gyorgy Kepes (Cambridge, USA), George Kubler (New Haven, USA).
  • The tendency to the total work of art . Discussion in the broadcast “Night switch on the move” of the WDR, March 1st, 1983. Discussion between Professors Josef Beuys (JB), Bazon Brock (BB), Frei Otto (FO) as well as the publisher and writer Wolf Jobst Siedler (WJS) and the exhibition organizer Dr. Harald Szeemann (HS). Werner Hamerski (WH)conducted the show.
  • Self-excitement - a rhetorical opera to force emotions (produced by WDR, broadcast on April 17, 1992), Schiebener and Jürgens, Cologne 1990.
  • Thinking outside the box - walking straight 45 min. / D, PL. A portrait film by Ingo Hamacher Bellacoola about Bazon Brock was produced by BellaCoola for WDR in the series "Querköpfe" and was broadcast in April 1991.
  • Bazon Brock on the history of cybernetics , 6-hour recording from 3sat, 1997, on the occasion of the "Installation of a theory area" in Portikus, Frankfurt, February 1997.
  • From 1997 to 2008, Bazon Brock was the moderator of the television discussion "Bilderstreit" on 3sat .
  • The grip on the black. Bazon Brock on Dada and the aftermath . Broadcast: News & Stories by Alexander Kluge / dctp / KAIROS, Sat 1 , 08.01.2012.

Radio plays / radio broadcasts

Three of the radio plays by Bazon Brock listed here were published as cassettes in 1986 by S-Press Tonband-Verlag, Cologne: “The Emperor's Smallest Size”, “Triumphs of My Will” and “Basic Noise and a Listening Room”.



  • Do you want total life? Fluxus and agit-pop of the 60s in Aachen . Neuer Aachener Kunstverein, Aachen, 1995, ISBN 3-929261-24-3 .
  • Martin Heller, HU Reck (ed.): BB. Aesthetics according to the actuality of the aesthetic. A symposium on the perspective of cultural development . Zurich 1998, ISBN 3-907065-66-2
  • Heiner Mühlmann: Art and War. The sour comfort in art. About Bazon Brock . Cologne 1998, ISBN 3-932189-57-4
  • Nicole Stratmann: The self-bondage artist - Bazon Brock. Introduction to an aesthetic of omission . VDG Verlag and database for the humanities, Weimar 1995, ISBN 3-929742-75-6
  • " Action teaching. A private lecture ” (Interview: Gerhard Theewen). In: The barbarian as a cultural hero. Bazon Brock III: Collected Writings 1991–2002, Aesthetics of Inaction, Critique of Truth - How to Become Who You Are Not. Cologne 2002, p. 36 ff., ISBN 3-8321-7149-5
  • Cordula Walter-Bolhöfer (interview), Bettina Wolf (photographs): Bazon Brock. Artist, fighter, critic . ars momentum Kunstverlag, Witten 2007, ISBN 978-3-938193-31-0
  • Beuys Brock Vostell. Action demonstration participation 1949-1983 . ZKM - Center for Art and Media Technology, Hatje Cantz, Karlsruhe, 2014, ISBN 978-3-7757-3864-4 .
  • Wolfgang Ullrich, Lambert Wiesing (eds.): Make big sentences: About Bazon Brock . With an introduction by Wolfgang Ullrich . Fink, 2016, ISBN 978-3-7705-5878-0 [Research series by HfG and ZKM Karlsruhe, Volume: 9]
  • "Faith is knowledge and knowledge is belief". About walking script, biography, thought service and seafaring. A conversation with Paolo Bianchi (interview). In: Kunstforum International, Vol. 253 (2018)

Web links

Commons : Bazon Brock  - collection of images, videos and audio files

References and comments

  1. The nickname "Bazon", which can mean "babbler" in Greek , was given to him by the teachers at his grammar school. Brock interprets it differently: “In Greek, bazon does not mean talker, but rather: talking, with the intention of achieving something. Just like a lawyer speaks to achieve a certain goal, to get someone free, to achieve a goal, that was called bazo ”(Interview with Marcus Ertle).
  2. See Walter Bolhöfer. Bazon Brock: artists, fighters, critics. 2007, p. 8.
  3. The large art dictionary by PW Hartmann . Retrieved February 9, 2012.
  4. Bazon Brock: Bazon Brock, what are you doing now? In: Retrieved May 11, 2020 .
  5. a b FAZ, November 14, 2015, p. 3.
  6. Bazon Brock: Never giving up means not seeing yourself as a victim. In: Retrieved May 11, 2020 .
  7. ^ Images of man , broadcast on Radio Austria 1 on May 29, 2016
  8. Bazon Brock: Bazon Brock, what are you doing now? J. Melzer, Darmstadt 1968 (59 pages, not paginated).
  9. Pape , concise dictionary of the Greek language, keyword βάζω ; the basic form is the 1st person singular present indicative active.
  10. Bazon Brock in the Munzinger archive , accessed on February 7, 2012 ( beginning of article freely available)
  11. Bazon Brock / Schirn Kunsthalle ( en ) Schirn Kunsthalle . 2006. Retrieved February 8, 2012.
  12. Bazon Brock as a guest at the Friedrich Nietzsche College - four lectures in the Goethe National Museum link aspects of Nietzsche with current questions of philosophy . Classic Foundation Weimar . Retrieved February 9, 2012.
  13. ^ Wuppertal: Bazon Brock receives the Von der Heydt Prize. In: RP ONLINE. Retrieved February 20, 2020 .
  14. long version. Retrieved February 20, 2020 .
  15. Home - Thinking. Retrieved February 20, 2020 .
  16. Bazon Brock: THEOREME. He lived, loved, taught and died. What was he thinking? Ed .: Marina Sawall. Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König, Cologne 2011, ISBN 978-3-96098-001-8 (552 pages).
  17. ^ Nicole Stratmann: Bazon Brock: The self-bondage artist. Introduction to an aesthetic of omission . VDG, Weimar 1995, ISBN 3-929742-75-6 .
  18. Work detail page / full text. Retrieved February 20, 2020 .
  19. ^ Bazon Brock: Aesthetics as Mediation. Working biography of a generalist. DuMont Reiseverlag, 1985, ISBN 978-3770106714 . ( online )
  20. Actions. Retrieved February 20, 2020 .
  21. ^ Theoretical objects . In: Bazon Brock . ( [accessed February 20, 2020]).
  22. Bazon Brock: THEOREME . Ed .: Marina Sawall. Walther König, Cologne 2017, ISBN 978-3-96098-001-8 , p. 490-491 .
  23. Visitor school. Retrieved February 20, 2020 .
  24. The professional citizen. Handouts for the training of graduated citizens, graduated patients, graduated consumers, graduated recipients and graduated believers . In: Bazon Brock, Peter Sloterdijk (ed.): Series of publications of the HfG-Karlsruhe . tape 8 . Fink, Karlsruhe 2011, ISBN 978-3-7705-5160-6 (approx. 120 pages).
  25. Bazon Brock: THEOREME . Ed .: Marina Sawall. Walther König, Cologne 2017, ISBN 978-3-96098-001-8 , p. 278-281 .
  26. Bazon Brock: THEOREME . Ed .: Marina Sawall. Walther König, Cologne 2017, ISBN 978-3-96098-001-8 , p. 274-275 .
  27. Self-excitement - A rhetorical opera to force feelings . Retrieved May 21, 2020.
  28. Work detail page / full text. Retrieved February 20, 2020 .
  29. Bazon Brock: THEOREME . Ed .: Marina Sawall. Walther König, Cologne 2017, ISBN 978-3-96098-001-8 , p. 88 .
  30. Bazon Brock: THEOREME . Ed .: Marina Sawall. Walther König, Cologne 2017, ISBN 978-3-96098-001-8 , p. 391 .
  31. ^ Bazon Brock: Aesthetics as Mediation. Working biography of a generalist . Ed .: Karla Forhbeck. DuMont, Cologne 1977, ISBN 3-7701-0671-7 , pp. 264 .
  32. ^ Documenta visitor schools . In: Bazon Brock . ( [accessed February 20, 2020]).
  34. Bazon Brock: THEOREME . Ed .: Marina Sawall. Walther König, Cologne 2017, ISBN 978-3-96098-001-8 , p. 391 .
  35. ^ A b Hannes Soltau: Gentrification: Bazon Brock has to clear his thinking in Kreuzberg. In: . April 11, 2019, accessed April 11, 2019 .
  36. Bazon Brock, Paul Liessmann: An optimistic look at pessimism . Ed .: Universitäts.Club | Carinthian Science Association. Wieser, Klagenfurt 2012, ISBN 978-3-99029-048-4 (48 pages).
  37. Bazon Brock: THEOREME . Ed .: Marina Sawall. Walther König, Cologne 2017, ISBN 978-3-96098-001-8 , p. 246-247 .
  38. Bazon Brock: THEOREME . Ed .: Marina Sawall. Walther König, Cologne 2017, ISBN 978-3-96098-001-8 , p. 140 .
  39. Bazon Brock: THEOREME . Ed .: Marina Sawall. Walther König, Cologne 2017, ISBN 978-3-96098-001-8 , p. 356-359 .
  41. Bazon Brock: THEOREME . Ed .: Marina Sawall. Walther König, Cologne 2017, ISBN 978-3-96098-001-8 , p. 490 .
  42.§id=3132#sect (See also the text "A severe de-Germanization. Revocation of the 20th century"; in: Bazon Brock: Lustmarsch durch Theoriegelände. Cologne: DuMont, 2008, p. 151 ff. Https://§id=1350#sect )
  43. Bazon Brock: THEOREME . Ed .: Marina Sawall. Walther König, Cologne 2017, ISBN 978-3-96098-001-8 , p. 264-165 .
  44. ^ Bazon Brock: Theorems . Ed .: Marina Sawall. Walther König, Cologne 2017, ISBN 978-3-96098-001-8 , p. 158-159 .
  45. Bazon Brock: The barbarian as a cultural hero. Bazon Brock III: Collected Writings 1991–2002, Aesthetics of Inaction, Critique of Truth - How to Become Who You Are Not . Ed .: Anna Zika. DuMont, Cologne 2002, ISBN 3-8321-7149-5 , p. 953 p .
  46. Bazon Brock: THEOREME . Ed .: Marina Sawall. Walther König, Cologne 2017, ISBN 978-3-96098-001-8 , p. 336 .
  50. Bazon Brock: THEOREME . Ed .: Marina Sawall. Walther König, Cologne 2017, ISBN 978-3-96098-001-8 , p. 175 .
  52. Bazon Brock: THEOREME . Ed .: Marina Sawall. Walther König, Cologne 2017, ISBN 978-3-96098-001-8 , p. 170-171 .
  53. Bazon Brock: THEOREME . Ed .: Marina Sawall. Walther König, Cologne 2017, ISBN 978-3-96098-001-8 , p. 252 .
  54. Bazon Brock: THEOREME . Ed .: Marina Sawall. Walther König, Cologne 2017, ISBN 978-3-96098-001-8 , p. 359 .
  55. Bazon Brock: THEOREME . Ed .: Marina Sawall. Walther König, Cologne 2017, ISBN 978-3-96098-001-8 , p. 320-323 .
  56. Bazon Brock: Critique of the cabaret reason. An autobiographical rumor of broken pieces. In: Critique of Cabaret Reason . tape 1 . Distance, Berlin 2016, ISBN 978-3-95476-163-0 , pp. 440 p .
  57. Bazon Brock: Europe is not yet lost. Critique of Cabaret Reason . In: Marina Sawall (Ed.): Critique of Cabaret Reason . tape 2 . Distance, Berlin 2020, ISBN 978-3-95476-336-8 (400 pages).
  64. Bazon Brock: THEOREME . Ed .: Marina Sawall. Walther König, Cologne 2017, ISBN 978-3-96098-001-8 , p. 270 .
  66. Bazon Brock: Pleasure March through theoretical territory . DuMont, Cologne 2008, ISBN 978-3-8321-9024-8 , p. 28 .
  67. ^ Nicole Stratmann: The self-bondage artist. Introduction to an aesthetic of omission . VDG, Weimar 1995, ISBN 3-929742-75-6 , p. 122 .
  68. Bazon Brock: The barbarian as a cultural hero. Bazon Brock III: Collected Writings 1991–2002, Aesthetics of Inaction, Critique of Truth - How to Become Who You Are Not. Ed .: Anna Zika. DuMont, Cologne 2002, ISBN 3-8321-7149-5 , p. 240 .
  69. Bazon Brock: THEOREME . Ed .: Marina Sawall. Walther König, Cologne 2017, ISBN 978-3-96098-001-8 , p. 240 .
  70. Bazon Brock: Aesthetics versus forced immediacy. Book Aesthetics Against Forced Immediacy Die Gottsucherbande - Writings 1978-1986 . Ed .: Nicola von Velsen. DuMont, Cologne 1986, ISBN 3-7701-1976-2 , p. 19 .
  71. Neural aesthetics Part I . Brock, University of Wuppertal. Retrieved February 9, 2012.
  72. ^ Karla Fohrbeck: Aesthetics as Mediation. Working biography of a generalist . DuMont, Cologne 1977, pp. 796f ..
  74. Bazon Brock: Pleasure March through theoretical territory. Museum yourselves! DuMont, Cologne 2008, ISBN 978-3-8321-9024-8 , p. 136 .
  75. Arno Bammé, Wilhelm Berger, Bazon Brock, Peter Heintel, Klaus Götz, Günter Ropohl, Ingrid Reschenberg: Unsolvable problems. Why societies collapse . Ed .: Arno Bammé. Profil, Munich 2013, ISBN 978-3-89019-694-7 , p. 376 p .
  77. Bazon Brock: THEOREME . Ed .: Marina Sawall. Walther König, Cologne 2017, ISBN 978-3-96098-001-8 , p. 72-73 .
  78. Bazon Brock: THEOREME . Ed .: Marina Sawall. Walther König, Cologne 2017, ISBN 978-3-96098-001-8 , p. 142-145 .
  83. Bazon Brock: THEOREME . Ed .: Marina Sawall. Walther König, Cologne 2017, ISBN 978-3-96098-001-8 , p. 362-363 .
  96. tested-beuys-brock-jahrling-klophaus-moorman-paik-rahn-schmit-vostell-1965 /
  104. A pleasure march through the theory area. Retrieved February 20, 2020 .
  105. Joachim Bessing: The wounds were washed out - they should have been cut! . World online . April 26, 2009. Retrieved February 7, 2012.
  106. Work detail page / full text. Retrieved February 20, 2020 .
  107. ^ Bazon Brock visits the Mendelssohn Remise . Pleasure march. November 13, 2008. Retrieved February 11, 2012.
  108. Wednesday series - lectures and guided tours . German Historical Museum. Retrieved February 11, 2012.
  109. Oracle or the determination of the future . Retrieved November 25, 2012.
  110. ^ Pythagoras in Delphi. On the Aesthetics of World Unity - Action Lectures with Bazon Brock and seven Actionists ( Memento from March 15, 2012 in the Internet Archive )
  111. Thinking - Thinking. Retrieved February 20, 2020 .
  112. This text later became known under the title Affirmation as a Political Strategy . In Brock's work biography Melzer is erroneously named as the publisher; Schröder was just parting with Melzer at the time
  113. accompanied Bazon Brock through 2006 ( memento from March 18, 2009 in the Internet Archive )
  114. Work detail page / full text. Retrieved February 22, 2020 .
  115. L'Occhio di Dio | 2014-05-16 | ZKM. Retrieved February 22, 2020 .
  116. PETER SEMPEL. Retrieved February 22, 2020 .
  117. Beuys Brock Vostell