Neue Echtheit* (short version)

*The theme of 48 Stunden Neukölln in 2018 is Neue Echtheit, referring to the issue of what is real, authentic and genuine.

We live in an age in which what is legitimate, veritable and real is no longer clearly defined. An appreciation of what is original and genuine is now, through changed social conventions and new means of communication, less widespread; former certainties about economical and ecological developments fade and regard for such qualities has become a sort of anachronism. Do we have to re-examine the meaning of what is real in this epoch of digital omnipresence? Is there still an expectation that art ought to be honestly real and genuine? These are the crucial questions that our festival theme poses.

There is often an assumption that artists produce work that is original or at least what can be “sold” as such. The art market demands work that is genuine and authentic while also constantly redefining what is “real”, a yearning for direct echoes of the artist's biography. What strategies have been developed in the arts to deal with this need for authenticity? What materials, processes and approaches can still deliver what is really real? Does this approach need to be re-examined?