George Herold takes up one aspect of the typical repertoire of German painting from the 1980s: namely a marginal, violent and often tasteless provocation. This depiction deliberately displays political incorrectness: An aggressive mob is using a brick to attack a black man. The traffic light seems to be giving a green light for the attack. The likewise blatantly racist tile can be read as an attempt by the artist to investigate a general concern of (political) art: namely the question of what art is permitted to do and where its freedom comes to an end. Even at a remove of four decades, the viewer must ask himself whether the artist was using the racist statement of the work and its title to refer to himself. Even if we do not impute a racist background to the artist, both the title and the work – if we take them at their word – are scandalous. And they issue a challenge to both art-historical classification and the exhibiting of art, which deliberately rejects an access devoid of ambiguity or an assertion based on contents.
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