“Experimenta Folklore”

Frankfurter Kunstverein

It has been fifty years since Werner Haftmann, one of Germany’s most influential art historians and the curator of Documentas 1, 2, and 3, announced that modernism’s formal language would completely eclipse that of folklore. But even a superficial glance at the contemporary landscape shows how mistaken Haftmann was in his assessment. Today, folklore permeates the very center of modernism and its legacies. It is therefore high time that a show be devoted to this subject, and Tobi Maier, currently the curator of Ludlow 38, a joint venture of the Munich Kunstverein and the Goethe-Institut, New York, finally took it on.

In no other domain has the folkloric retained as much vitality as it has in the field of music. Singing, clapping, stomping, and dancing, customary acts of celebration, today typically occur in all genres of popular music. “Experimenta Folklore” investigates the related overlapping

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