Diedrich Diederichsen


Date and place of birth: 1957, Hamburg, Germany

Living place: Berlin, Germany

Theme: art criticism, music

ECC Participation: panel member

photo: BE&W

Diedrich Diederichsen is a professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna, where he occupies himself with modern art. He has also lectured at numerous European and American universities, i.a. Merz Academy in Stuttgart and Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles.

He began his career with music journalism. In the 1970’s and 1980’s, Diederichsen edited German magazine “Sounds”, devoted to new styles in music. Since 1985 until 2000, he was the editor of the pop cultural “Spex” magazine. At the same time he collaborated with many other periodicals: “Frankfurter Rundschau”, “Die Zeit”, “Jungle World.” Diederichsen often published under the pseudonym Stefan Svoboda. He wrote about punk rock, post punk, German new wave, but also about jazz, classical and popular music. He is called the pope of pop. German band Saalschutz sings in one of the songs: “Diedrich Diederichsen/ We love you/ But your books…/We do not understand them.”

“Being an artist is kind of an endless game of self-betrayal.”

However, Diederichsen’s interests surpass the issues connected with music. He is concerned with art criticism, focusing on the modern and popular art. Diederichsen writes insightfully – and often in the personal tone – placing art in the broad philosophical, social and political context. Many consider him to be the renewer of German criticism. In the book “On (Surplus) Value in Art“ (published 2008), he reflects on the value crisis in art and the rapid devaluation of music. He has also published: “Freiheit macht arm. Das Leben nach Rock’n’Roll“ (1993) and “Eigenblutdoping. Selbstverwertung, Künstlerromantik, Partizipatio.“ (2008.). His essays are published in many renowned art magazines, i.a. “Artforum“, “Texte Zur Kunst” and
“Theater heute.“

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