This publication is an adaptation of a public statement by art critic Annika Bender, the editor-in-chief of the Donnerstag-Blog, on why her blog was discontinued. Bender was in fact a fictitious character created by artists Dominic Osterried and Steffen Zillig. The two artists discuss why they deemed a certain form of masked critique important and necessary in our times.
“The idea behind Donnerstag was to insist on the difference between good art and bad art. I am aware of how anachronistic that sounds and how quickly it evokes the image of an old critic-pontiff wagging his authoritarian pointer finger. But even that image is founded in a misunderstanding: the caricaturesque exaggeration of the critic's voice as dictatorial. But it's really nothing more than that very voice. And it pronounces a judgment that is not juridical, but ideally worth nothing more than the argument at its core. It's far more authoritarian and antidemocratic to deny a public voice the act of judgment and concede to a postheroically styled art writer nothing more than the task of pointing at something. […] Whoever just leaves it at that has also parted ways with any hope of open rivalry between arguments.”
This book is an adaptation of Annika Bender's lecture “Jump! You Fuckers!” which was presented at Kunsthalle Bern in the context of a series on overproduction and ambivalence in contemporary art. Annika Bender was one of the pseudonyms of artists Dominic Osterried and Steffen Zillig, who wrote the blog Donnerstag (now discontinued) under her name. To make the criticism she proposed possible, and make public its conditions and inherent contradictions—as well as articulate the reasons for her disappearance—it proved necessary to confer Bender to the archive.
Annika Bender was one of the pseudonyms of artists Dominic Osterried and Steffen Zillig, under which they wrote the art critic blog Donnerstag, from 2010-2014.