Big Ideas

Diedrich Diederichsen

  • Zilkha Auditorium

Past Event

This event was on Thurs 14 May, 7pm

In the context of the current exhibition, the author, music journalist and cultural critic Diedrich Diederichsen discusses Christopher Williams as a performance artist. One of Germany′s most renowned intellectual writers at the crossroads of the arts, politics, and pop culture, Diederichsen provides an alternative entry point and understanding for Williams’ practice, through an element of the work not presented in the gallery spaces. He explores not only the performance works in Williams’ oeuvre but also the idea of the performativity of storytelling as it exists in his conceptual photography.

Part of the Whitechapel Gallery’s ‘Big Ideas’ talk series – a platform for renowned speakers, from scholars and thinkers to curators and artists, to share and discuss their current research and work.

Supported by the Stanley Picker Trust


Diedrich Diederichsen (born 1957, Hamburg) works across pop-music, contemporary art, modern composition, cinema, theater, design and politics. Since 2006 he has been Professor for Theory, Practice, and Communication of Contemporary Art at the Institute for Art History & Cultural Studies at the Academy of Fine Art, Vienna. He also writes for several magazines, dailies and journals in the German speaking world, including Texte zur Kunst, Theater heute, Cargo, Spex, Die Zeit, tageszeitung, Süddeutsche Zeitung, among many others. From 1998 to 2007, he was Professor for Aesthetic Theory/Cultural Studies at Merz-Akademie, Stuttgart. Since the early 1990s, he has worked internationally as a university teacher and guest professor, in Stuttgart (Merz-Academy1992-98), Pasadena (Art Center 1993-95, 1997, 2001), Offenbach (HfG, 1995-96), Munich (Akademie der Bildenden Künste, 1995-96), Gießen (Universität, 2000), Weimar (Bauhaus-Universität, 1997),  St. Louis (Washington University, 2006), Cologne (Universität, 2004), Los Angeles (USC, 2007 and 2009)  and Gainesville, Fl. (University of Florida, 2006), and  as a guest lecturer at the Universities of Bremen (1998-99) and Vienna (2000-01) and the Städelschule Frankfurt (1992). In the 1980s, he edited and published music journals in Hamburg and Cologne (including Sounds and Spex). His most recent publications include Über Pop-Musik (Köln: Kiepenheuer & Witsch, 2014), The Whole Earth: California and the Disappearance of the Outside (Berlin/New York: Sternberg Press 2013, co-ed. With Anselm Franke)  and The Sopranos (Zürich: diaphanes-booklet 2012). For a complete list of publications, see: He is married, and lives in Berlin and Vienna.