KP Brehmer’s Kleptomania: A Productivism of Expropriation
Kerstin Stakemeier

In works such as his ‘Trivialgrafiken’ [Trivial Prints] of the early 1960s, in comments such as his contribution to Kunstforum magazine in 1978, [1] or in interviews such as the one with Werner Rohde in 1971, [2] KP Brehmer repeatedly stressed the artistic-political urgency of contemporaneity. During the exhibition Art into Society, Society into Art at the ICA in London in 1974, he even resisted the inclusion of older works by the participating artists to complement the more recent ones, as they would merely ‘get in the way of present thinking’. [3] ‘Museumification’, he argued retrospectively regarding his work, but also that of others, ‘has often meant destruction. […] Many critical productions have become historic, acquiring and retaining a documentary value. But the distance from history is growing.' [4] We experience this problem with ever-greater intensity today in relation to Brehmer's work, seventeen years after his death. It is due to his choice of artistic media and his insistence on the contemporaneity of his artistic methods that the destructive effect of historicisation touches the very core of his work. The present is receding ever further from him; his position is becoming increasingly historical, belonging more and more to a history of art that focuses on representations of artistic autonomy – an autonomy that Brehmer’s artistic practice consistently undermined.

 

In this respect Brehmer’s museumification distinguishes itself from that of his former colleagues Gerhard Richter, Sigmar Polke, Konrad Lueg or Manfred Kuttner, who, in Düsseldorf in 1963, labelled their work as 'Capitalist Realism'. [5] A year later René Block appropriated the term for his exhibition Neodada, Pop, Decollage, Kapit. Realismus in Berlin, [6] in which Brehmer took part alongside Wolf Vostell, Karl Horst Hödicke, Lothar Quinte, Herbert Kaufmann and Siegmund Lympasik. But the catchy label was short-lived: by 1971, in the anthology Grafik des Kapitalistischen Realismus [Capitalist Realist Graphics] edited by Block – which included Brehmer, Hödicke and Vostell as well as Lueg, Polke and Richter – Block declared it over, concluding his text by admitting that, ‘for me, Capitalist Realism remains an era of mid-1960s art to which I continue to be deeply attached (why, I don’t want to clarify here).' [7]

 

Attempts to change the first name of Realism from ‘Socialist’ to ‘Capitalist’ did not prove lasting. Indeed, the problem that Socialist Realism as state art had already so blatantly demonstrated – namely, that it turns into Naturalism, a mere mirroring of an idealised self-perception that doesn’t discern reality as a continually thwarted tendency but as goal-oriented self-fulfilment – had become no less virulent in Capitalist Realism. Admittedly, the Realism of capitalism was able to expose capitalism’s multifarious commodification of society, but it failed to distinguish itself from it unless – as with Brehmer – it also attempted to shift the material reproductive structure of this all-encompassing commodification into its own means of production. The commodities of Socialist Realism and those of Capitalist Realism differed primarily in the form of society they represented: where art production continued to be affirmed as a restricted field of production, both eventually gave rise to naturalising panoramas of an equally representative conception of art. Ultimately, it is merely the reconstruction of this field that allows Realism to develop from a style into a stance.

 

Amidst the political and artistic debates on Realism as the policy of the Popular Front that unfolded in the pages of the Russian exile magazine Das Wort in 1937 and 1938 – by, among others, Bertolt Brecht, Ernst Bloch and Georg Lukács [8] – one of the few areas of agreement among the authors was that Realism was neither a style, an era, nor a fashion, but an artistic attitude that extended beyond art. Brecht formulated this in direct opposition to naturalism: ‘Realism is an issue not only for literature: it is a major political, philosophical, and practical issue and must be handled and explained as such … Naturalism … can be confronted with [its] social effects by demonstrating that [it] merely reflect[s] the symptoms of the surface of things and not the deeper causal complexes of society.’ [9]  

 

Most Capitalist Realists would no doubt have fallen foul of Brecht’s verdict of naturalism. Although in the early 1960s all of them introduced popular culture into art as its newly found focus, the attitude towards art within the Düsseldorf and Berlin scenes were highly divergent – a divergence no less evident in their contemporary museumification. Thus Richter’s and Polke’s historic value surged in large part because their early works became increasingly artistic as their museumification progressed – a form of ‘mid-1960s art’ – growing more and more into symbols and canonical exemplars of what 1960s West German art is supposed to be (or have been). Their 1963 action Leben mit Pop [Living with Pop] had demonstrated the factual banality of Pop. Integrating artworks into the displays of the furniture store Möbelhaus Berges in Düsseldorf and guiding visitors through its arrangements, this petit bourgeois everyday was presented as art’s natural habitat. But the subsequent 'artification' of Richter's and Polke's Capitalist Realism clearly reinstated the border between art amidst Pop as a rather prosaic context and art as Pop as an elaborate aesthetic reflexion. Their works were elevated by art history while their actualisation in relation to their prosaic context was suspended. [10] The variable distance between their time and that of their spectators became external to the works: they were immobilised in their ‘authentic’ historicisation. In 1974 Brehmer had feared that older works would get in the ‘way of present thinking’. This contemporaneity of thought, Brehmer’s ostentatious heteronomy from his own time, is what prevented many of his works from being museumified. Brehmer’s productions cannot be thought of otherwise than as contemporary. In this sense they also reconnect with an earlier historic strand of realist art that was not yet, as with Brecht, directed at the fight against capitalism's overwhelming countervailing power, but above all at the artistic anticipation of a different, non-naturalising social order. Russian Productivism of the late 1910s and early 1920s, before the nationalisation of Realism by the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) in the late 1920s, aimed for the realisation of artistic production as a continuous expansion of a non-capital-oriented form of living. For example, Vladimir Tatlin conceived of his work as realistic insofar as he combined artistic and non-artistic means of production to progress from an art production of the few to a general artistic production of all: a collective, socialist, artistic industrialisation. As early as 1919 the Berlin publicist Lu Märten wrote on the fate of art in capitalist industrialisation:

 

What has become of art in the capitalist century? – A special function, a commodity, a thing that exists somewhere outside of everyday life, a thing with the nimbus of particularly exquisite life – secrets – […] but it is the secret of all living humans, provided they could finally awaken from the dead, provided they want to discover the miracle of their lives! [11]

 

Only immobilised artistic thought presents itself as an autonomous, completed artwork, an exquisite secret. And it is precisely this completion, this autonomy from the process of ‘present thinking’, that Brehmer consistently refused in his artistic practice. Like Märten fifty years earlier, Brehmer also wanted to activate the secret in life. Many of his works seem now like notations of past times – notations that should be performed anew today. Productivist artworks rarely survived their present; they were never produced as works in themselves and were therefore largely ignored by art history. [12]

 

Those among them that presented a semblance of art have today been historicised as a style, as Constructivism. But in those instances where Productivist attempts have stood the test of time, such as Tatlin’s early advertising, they are still, like Brehmer’s productions, notations of a different sensibility.

 

Brehmer’s art, too, is to some extent revolutionary product design. Tatlin, Karl Ioganson, Varvara Stepanova and Lyubov Popova tried in the late 1910s and early 1920s to incorporate the productivisms of their art into the steel, tractor and textile factories of revolutionary Soviet Union and thus let it infiltrate industrial labour. Brehmer, on the other hand, as a trained 'reproduction technician', occupied within West German post-war capitalism a strand of mass-cultural technique as art – graphic design – and presented it as an exemplary model of common design. He worked on the edge of an impossible task: the artist stepping up to become the graphic designer of a different sensibility. He presents anti-sentimental representations of social conditions in chart-like, standardised and trivial systems of notation, and by doing so, does not introduce an artistic expression of the capitalistic industrialisation of culture but an expropriation of the cultural structures of social violence that are aestheticised in this industrialisation. In Brehmer’s work, as in Productivism on which Märten wrote in 1919, it is this violence – not industrialisation as such – that comes under attack. Brehmer, as S.D. Sauerbier points out, wanted to ‘introduce codes of the trivial into high art so as to be closer to its social reality’. Art should become a ‘sensory instrument of emancipatory conscience’: [13] an organic or physical autonomy. Brehmer’s late 1970s series ‘Seele und Gefühl eines Arbeiters’ [Soul and Feelings of a Worker] brought into stark relief this emancipatory will to formalise. He developed a notation that turned the purpose of the American economic psychologist Rexford B. Hersey’s 1932 study Workers’ Emotions in Shop and Home on its head. [14] Over a period of one year, Hersey had meticulously recorded the feelings of male foremen and mechanics. He discovered that their state of mind changed according to a monthly cycle – a momentous finding in the field of work psychology. In 1964 he invited readers of Science Digest to ‘Chart [Their] Emotional Cycle’. [15] Hersey was interested in the optimisation of work; Brehmer, on the other hand, took up this challenge as an artist and personalised it. His work maps the state of mind of one worker – a portrait from which Brehmer synthesises an artistic narrative by assigning a colour and a sound to each mood. Thus emerge images and music scores that are starting points of a new aesthetic. Based on the conviction that dull, industrial work is degrading, Brehmer develops a solidary perspective on the life it frames. He shows ways of emancipation from work.

 

In his graphic productions Brehmer created permanent links between the mythologised sphere of bourgeois art [16] and the capitalist functionalisms of applied graphic design, because ‘if artists want to take part in work that relates to society, they must assess the suitability of their tools and materials. To make themselves understood, they must bridge the gap between art and “the trivial”.’ [17] He thus started by producing almost exclusively block prints, a medium that could be reproduced without loss of quality in unlimited print runs. But he soon abandoned these mass print runs, realising that only a mass market could distribute a mass print run. [18] As part of the capitalist art market, which was still in its early stages in West Germany in the 1960s and 1970s, and in which various efforts to establish producer galleries (such as René Block's) and develop alternative art distribution systems were still in effect, Brehmer's editions did undercut their own commodity value, if not the general commodity value of art. Brehmer’s artistic dissolution of value failed in the face of capitalist universality, in that his work processes only became visible as art in their commodity form. Brehmer switched from demonstration to example as his works became serial attempts at expropriating bourgeois culture. As he argued in 1971, ‘through kleptomania we must intervene in bourgeois culture, by diminishing the value of personal property inherent in artistic creation.' [19]

 

To me this kleptomania remains a topical aspect of Brehmer’s way of working: a renewed expropriation of bourgeois culture, by which not only Brehmer’s own work is wrested from its museumification, but the art history surrounding him can be reconstructed beyond its canonisations, which claim artworks as 'achievements' of bourgeois culture, and thus as its properties. Brehmer’s choice of artistic media – as his investment in the post-war numismatic culture [Briefmarkenkultur] demonstrates most clearly today – are no longer as trivial or mundane as they were when he still worked with and through them. They became artistic – as Walter Benjamin had already argued with regard to the development of printing techniques – through ageing because they lost their practical value for industrial purposes: what was outdated became artistic. [20] The reproduction techniques favoured by Brehmer fell prey to that very same process: they became obsolete. As printing processes were digitised, analogue approaches became purely artistic.

 

Even at the time of Capitalist Realism it had been these attempts at expropriating the form of the artwork that distinguished Brehmer from those who instilled popular culture into the canonised genres of art. Brehmer did not appropriate the possession of capitalist culture to give it an artistic twist, but expropriated the possession of art to allow it to become industrial. His kleptomania was directed at art, at its expropriation. Brehmer artistically opposes the concept of property that lies at the heart of both mass culture and the idea of artistic autonomy, with his production derived from reproduction techniques, his individual industrialisation of the sentimentalities inherent in objects, processes and standardisations. One could argue that in Brehmer’s work Marx’ 'commodity fetishism' was dissected: Brehmer attempted to use the fetish against the commodity, the sentiment against standardisation. In this respect, Brehmer’s productions are political art in the strictest sense of the word: their forms, subjects and constraints are themselves the result of a political approach to their present – the unconditional present of their own processes, not of a content they would carry. This content, in line with Brecht’s view, emanates from and with a realism of form in its social worth – a form as condensed feeling, because ‘the secondary appearance of the exploitation of forms or art does not explain to us the social and material cause of form such that it was able to emerge in the first place beyond all ideological speculation, and hence all usage’, writes Märten in a précis of her extensive study Nature and Change of Forms/Art [Wesen und Veränderung der Formen/Künste]. [21] And in this insistence on making available and converting forms, the topicality of Brehmer’s kleptomania once again ties up with this artistic moment of Russian Productivism, which Märten had equally aimed at from Berlin and which had also put property itself at the centre of its critique – the property of art as much as that beyond art. Because ‘historic – this means not only in the sequence of their emergence, but according to the dependency of their emergence. Materialistic – this means not only according to their technical relationships, but also their physical relationships, from within the organism of the physical human being itself.' [22] 

 

History here does not refer to the history politics of the past. Märten’s organic conception of materialism concentrated on the figure of emergence, on a prospective rather than retrospective present that is to become human. And in this respect, too, her conception of revolutionary art meets Brehmer’s, which, firmly focused on the present, directed its kleptomania towards a possible future. Märten was one of the first to write about the Russian Proletkult in the early 1920s – the first organisation in revolutionary Russia to declare Productivism as its guiding principle and to complete the earliest and most lasting move towards a dissolution of artistic production by artists into a general artistic production by all.

 

The Proletkult, of which Tatlin and Stepanova were members, was founded in 1917, a few days before the Revolution broke out for good in Petrograd, and by 1918 had already transformed itself into a national institution. That same year, following a proposal by Olga Rozanova, Productivism became the main directive of the Moscow branch, [23] and in 1919 Anna Dodonova enforced it as the guiding principle of all artistic production within the Proletkult. [24] It was an urbanising movement and, like Brehmer’s work, an artistic contribution to industrialisation, not its exception. Based on the practice of the historical proletariat, the Proletkult wanted to bring to life a specifically proletarian culture, while dissolving the proletariat into a free association of producers through the integration of artistic practice into general production. To this end, Proletkult studios for music, poetry, theatre, sculpture, architecture, painting and other disciplines were established in countless factories and even on the war front, each acting autonomously within a common curriculum. [25] These studios tried to redefine artistic and industrial production by considering them together anew, and to measure art against the everyday.


This was a dynamic relation that fifty years later with Brehmer – the individualised artist in capitalist and post-fascist West Germany – can be discussed as a productivist position towards artistic production, as constant progress towards a process of creating a reality that art alone cannot produce. Brehmer’s expropriations demonstrate the personalisations of mass culture as much as the individualisations of art as a constant restriction – a restriction of organic development that Brehmer, in his thermal images, ideal landscapes or kleptomaniac works on triviality continuously assailed. In 1971 he wrote: ‘I believe that the only progress of art consists in shifting all the intensity from I to we’ [26] – a shift that, in post-war West Germany, far from revolutionary upheavals of the social productive forces, focused, as Brehmer wrote 'on the micrological level', and that in Brehmer’s case recurrently transferred the sentiment from the artist to the spectator. An actualised productivism that, in the absence of general social expropriation, resorts to individual kleptomania – a form of kleptomania that does not enrich itself personally or artistically, but, as Wolfgang Siano has argued, instead of expressing the artist’s feelings, offers spectators a scaling of their own feelings. [27] Because time and again it is not Brehmer’s experience that is at issue, but ours. Brehmer’s productivism aims to win over its recipients.

 

The stand-up displays he produced in the 1960s as block prints  – among them Aufsteller 25. Das Gefühl zwischen Fingerkuppen… [Display: The Feeling between Fingertips…] (1968), his contribution to Block's portfolio Grafik des Kapitalistischen Realismus – demonstrates this conscious dependency of art production on the contemporaneity of our feelings. [28] Today their colours and forms, their female bodies and household goods seem nostalgic, but in the 1960s stand-up displays, as much as the human and non-human commodities they depict, were absolutely current. Brehmer does not elevate himself as an artist by transposing them into an artistic medium, nor does he dignify his work by changing formats or render his artistic work autonomous from its object; rather, he works on our autonomy with his object. The stand-up display becomes dysfunctional with regard to its meaning as a commodity, yet remains faithful to its use value. It evokes relations of meaning, and relations of the senses, whose initial lack of sense creates open ends. In Brehmer’s ‘Trivialgrafik’ the potential of art is measured against its ability to specify and open up the everyday in its organic composition, in its bodies. And in this respect Brehmer’s works are not merely figurative, but concrete. The Russian Productivists had surmised the starting point of autonomy in the abstraction of the everyday, in the rearrangement of perspectives, in the slogan ‘From composition to construction! From construction to production!’ [29] But Brehmer’s grasp on social commonality rests neither on a mass organisation of revolutionary education policy nor on a general revolutionising of the relations of production, but on the ceaseless realisation of his own individualised relations of production and the position of his own means of production within an industrialised culture. But like the Productivists, Brehmer showed attempts of a transition from the art production of artists to the artistic production of people. He worked through the affects of post-war West Germany with ‘graphic art as a notation of psychic micrological processes’. [30] 

 

Even in revolutionary Russia this expropriation of art had had few political friends. Lenin himself considered the autonomy of culture as an achievement rather than a property offence. Written by Lenin and published by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Russia in the Pravda of 1 December 1920, the open letter ‘On the Proletkults’ attacked the largest revolutionary and politically independent cultural-organisation structure of its time and tried to discredit it as bourgeois. By that time the Proletkult, with its half a million members, was almost as powerful as the party itself. Not only did the party witness the return of Alexander Bogdanov, one of Lenin’s most important theoretical opponents throughout the first decade of the century, but it also felt its exclusive right of political representation threatened by the systematic extension of artistic production to various fields. In 1919 Tatlin wrote for instance that ‘what happened from the social aspect in 1917 was realised in our work as pictorial artists in 1914 when “materials, volume and construction” were accepted as our foundations. […] We declare our distrust of the eye, and place our sensual impressions under control. […] The results of this … stimulate us to inventions in our work of creating a new world.' [31]

 

Brehmer took up what Tatlin had conceived as a tentatively non-figurative world and expanded it as a figurative world in post-war West Germany, as a stimulus for ‘inventions and for our task of creating a new world’. This is one of the reasons why Brehmer’s works, contrary to Richter’s or Polke’s early realist commitments, do not primarily become more artistic with age, but more documentary; due to their ageing, their artistic media come to some extent even more directly, more materially as means of production to the fore. They do not document an expression of a time but the production of a state of feelings, one that Brehmer continuously aimed to readjust. Indeed, he did not translate the mass-cultural insignia of his time into art, but conversely translated art into mass-cultural insignia, into starting points for another sentiment. As Hubertus Butin has argued, his series of stamps produced between 1966 and 1972 are also, thanks to their ‘complicated print variations … varying print runs and … different editions of stamped and unstamped versions’ aimed at ‘the obsessions of stamp and print collectors.'[32] Brehmer exaggerates the mimesis of the reproducible and reproduced culture of his time, looking for somatic eruptions in its cultivated everyday sentiments. In post-fascist West Germany these somatic eruptions were located not least in the discrepancy between the democratic constitution enforced upon the country by the Allies and the country’s identity as successor of the National Socialist state, of which its citizens had been enthusiastic participators. Even Brehmer’s National Socialist stamps reproduced as large-size linocuts thus pay tribute to their time in that they reiterate the common practice of many Germans who continued to use these stamps while trying to render them unrecognisable to the Allies. [33] The sentiments that Brehmer seeks in mass objects are not indiscriminately positive. The Proletkult strived towards a future that was to materialise collectively with it; Brehmer, on the other hand, is exploring a future whose sediments he hoped to find in the present, but whose collectivity existed only as a negative social structure.

 

With her sympathy for the Proletkult, Märten had few allies herself in the Weimar Republic of the 1920s. The Communist Party of Germany sided with Lenin in the argument on the questionable autonomy of art, and Märten, who threw herself into art history, politics and philosophy without a diploma, as an autodidact, produced countless essays on materialist art theory, the Proletkult, workers’ education and women’s rights in 80 different publishing outlets throughout the 1920s. She was friends  with the Berlin Dadaists, and from 1918 worked in the Russian news agency Rosta. In 1924 Taifun Press published her Nature and Change of Forms/Art. After the Allied victory, her writings were reissued for a younger generation, but she was hardly read anymore. The artistic practices whose revolutionary powers she had extolled had been museumified, through historisation, as Constructivism, and their fight against unwanted autonomy had disappeared from art history in favour of their appreciation as autonomous art practices. Märten’s writings disappeared with them. But their contemporary relevance, like Brehmer’s, is unabated if we identify the homologies between these and other artistic practices from today’s perspective.

 

Märten’s and Brehmer’s works address the question of the expropriation of art – even today, as Märten’s analysis from 1921 continues to aptly describe the present, because ‘today’s conception of culture [also] rests on a confusion of historic self-personal abilities as opposed to collective and mechanised cultural elements." [34]” Brehmer’s works allow this confusion to become productive by declaring it the purpose of art. His kleptomania aimed to locate another sentiment, a capitalistic non-functional sensibility, in the collective and mechanised cultural elements through an artistic practice beyond autonomised forms. And Brehmer’s cultural kleptomania, his productivism of expropriation, can still be used today to revive this sentiment: the dysfunctionalising of sentimentality remains a necessity.

 

 

 


 

[1] KP Brehmer, contribution to Kunstforum International, vol. 12 (‘Kritik der Concept Art’), 1975, p.150ff.

[2] See Werner Rohde, ‘Interview mit KP Brehmer’, KP Brehmer. Produktionen 1962-1971, exh. cat. Kunstverein Hamburg (12 June–11 July 1971), Hamburg: Kunstverein Hamburg, 1971, n.p.

[3] Quoted in Christos M. Joachimides and Norman Rosenthal (ed.), Art into Society / Society into Art: Seven German Artists: Albrecht D., Joseph Beuys, KP Brehmer, Hans Haacke, Dieter Hacker, Gustav Metzger, Klaus Staeck, exh. cat. Institute of Contemporary Arts (30 October–14 November 1974), London: ICA, 1974, p.11.

[4] S.D. Sauerbier, ‘“Sicht-Agitation!” Schlüsselbilder und Bilderschlüssel’, KP Brehmer. Alle Künstler lügen, exh. cat. Museum Fridericianum (4 October–29 November 1998), (Kassel: Museum Fridericianum, 1998), p.62.

[5] For an extensive discussion of the concept as well as competing views see Stephan Strsembski, Kapitalistischer Realismus. Objekt und Kritik in der Kunst der 60er Jahre, (Hamburg: Verlag Dr. Kovac, 2010). Contrary to this author, Strsembski favours the work of the Düsseldorf-based artists Gerhard Richter and Sigmar Polke over that of Brehmer and other Capitalist Realists from Berlin because of what he assumes to be their formal superiority.

[6] See Neodada, Pop, Decollage, Kapit. Realismus, exh. cat. Galerie René Block (16 September–5 November 1964), (Berlin: Galerie René Block, 1964).

[7] René Block (ed.), Grafik des Kapitalistischen Realismus 1: Werkverzeichnisse bis 1971, (Berlin: Edition Block, 1971), p.30.

[8] See Hans-Jürgen Schmitt (ed.), Die Expressionismusdebatte. Materialien zu einer marxistischen Realismuskonzeption, (Frankfurt a.M.: Suhrkamp, 1973).

[9] Bertolt Brecht, ‘Against Georg Lukács’ [1938] (trans. Stuart Hood), New Left Review, vol.1, no.84, March–April 1974.

[10] Strsembski’s book epitomises this development.

[11] Lu Märten, ‘Proletkult’ [1919], reprinted in Märten, Formen für den Alltag. Schriften, Aufsätze, Vorträge, (Dresden: VEB Verlag der Kunst Dresden, 1982), p.43. I want to thank Jenny Nachtigall for reminding me of Märten’s work, which seems so essential in this context, yet is so rarely mentioned.

[12] Productivism's recent rehabilitation by art history includes notably Brandon B. Taylor, Art and Literature Under the Bolsheviks (London: Pluto Press, 1991) and Maria Gough, The Artist As Producer: Russian Constructivism in Revolution (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2005) and Christina Kiaer, Imagine No Possessions: The Socialist Objects of Russian Constructivism (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2005). Selim O. Khan-Magomedov’s epic Vchutemas. Moscou 1920-1930 (Paris: Éditions du regard, 1990) gives a detailed account of the workings at the Russian state art and technical school Vkhutemas, in which numerous Proletkult instructors were involved, but like Kiaer, he disparages Productivism as mere ornamentation of the socialist machinery. Different accounts are given in historical publications such as Sheila Fitzpatrick, The Commissariat of Enlightenment: Soviet Organization of Education and the Arts Under Lunacharsky, October 1917–1921 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1970); Lynn Mally, Culture of the Future: The Proletkult Movement in Revolutionary Russia (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1990); or the extensive documentations of Proletkult practices published in Germany before the 1980s, including Peter Gorsen’s and Eberhard Knödler-Bunte’s two-volume Proletkult (Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt: Frommann-Holzboog, 1974); Richard Lorenz’s Proletarische Kulturrevolution in Sowjetrussland, 1917-1921. Dokumente des Proletkult (Munich: Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag, 1969); and Gabriele Gorzka’s A. Bogdanov und der russische Proletkult. Theorie und Praxis einer sozialistischen Kulturrevolution (Frankfurt a.M.: Campus-Verlag, 1980).

[13] S.D. Sauerbier, ‘“Sicht-Agitation!” Schlüsselbilder und Bilderschlüssel’, op. cit., p.58.

[14] Rexford B. Hersey, Workers’ Emotions in Shop and Home: A Study of Individual Workers from the Psychological and Physiological Standpoint, (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1932).

[15] Hersey, ‘Chart Your Emotional Cycle’, Science Digest, vol.35, 1954, p.69–73.

[16] Rohde, ‘Interview mit KP Brehmer’, op. cit., p.15.

[17] Brehmer, op. cit., p.151.

[18] Rohde, ‘Interview mit KP Brehmer’, op. cit., p.15.

[19] Brehmer, op. cit., p.151.

[20] See Walter Benjamin, Das Kunstwerk im Zeitalter seiner technischen Reproduzierbarkeit, in Rolf Tiedemann (ed.), Walter Benjamin. Abhandlungen. Gesammelte Schriften I-2, (Frankfurt a.M.: Suhrkamp, 1991), pp.431ff.

[21] Märten, Wesen und Veränderung der Formen/Künste [1924], in Märten, op. cit., p.107.

[22] Märten, ‘Historisch-Materialistisches über Wesen und Veränderung der Künste. Eine pragmatische Einleitung’ [1921], in Märten, op. cit., p.53.

[23] See Lynn Mally, The Culture of the Future, (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1990), p.18.

[24] See Camilla Gray, The Russian Experiment in Art 1863–1922, (London: Thames & Hudson 1986), p.245, and Christina Lodder, Russian Constructivism, (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1983), p.259.

[25] Mally, op. cit., p.151.

[26] Brehmer, op. cit., p.151.

[27] See Wolfgang Siano, ‘Schlangenblick’, in KP Brehmer. Wie mich die Schlange sieht. Wie ich die Schlagen sehe, exh. cat. daadgalerie (19 October–17 November 1985), (Berlin: Berliner Künstlerprogramm des DAAD, 1985), n.p.

[28] René Block (ed.), Grafik des Kapitalistischen Realismus: KP Brehmer, Hödicke, Lueg, Polke, Richter, Vostell, (Berlin: Stolpe-Verlag, 1967), n.p.

[29] Lodder, op. cit., p.83, p.101.

[30] Siano, ‘Schlangenblick’, op. cit., n.p.

[31] Vladimir Tatlin, ‘The Work Ahead of Us’ [1920], quoted in Irina Gutkin, The Cultural Origins of the Socialist Realist Aesthetic, 1890–1934, (Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1999), p.31.

[32] See Hubertus Butin (ed.), KP Brehmer. Briefmarken 1966-1972, exh. cat. Galerie Bernd Slutzky (29 April–20 June 1994), (Frankfurt a.M.: Galerie Bernd Slutzky, 1994), p.6.

[33] Ibid., p.8.

[34] Märten, Wesen und Veränderung der Formen/Künste, op. cit., p.61.