Sara Blaylock, Parallel Public: Experimental Art in Late East Germany (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2022), 328 PP.
Artists infiltrated state culture by meting out its excesses. They tested the hard-line intolerance of cultural innovation advertised by cultural bureaucracy. They hedged their bets on the threats of state security forces, and won. They identified with and sought approval from each other, even as they benefited from the advantages of the state culture whose approval they foreswore, but whose financial incentives they enjoyed. In their dedication to creative autonomy, experimental artists exposed a core vulnerability in state power – namely, its reliance … Read more