This bilingual and internationally distributed publication follows Pfeifer’s first comprehensive solo exhibition in Canada / North America which took place from June 22 to September 2, 2019 at The Power Plant, Toronto. The exhibition was curated by Director Gaëtane Verna with the assistance of Nabila Abdel Nabi.
The publication includes essays by Georg Imdahl on the artist’s socio-political investigations and Nomaduma Rosa Masilela on Pfeifer’s first live performance work. A conversation between Pfeifer and the multiple award winning filmmaking Canadian artist Stan Douglas weaves through the historical and contemporary issues of image production, music, pop culture and politics of the now. The film’s script of Again – Noch einmal (2018) is published alongside an index of produced works and publications 2008 – 2020 to complete the publication as Pfeifer’s most extensive monograph to date.
“Art historian and critic Georg Imdahl references the artist’s key interest in societal debates around “our democratic consciousness and the withdrawal of society’s basic consensus, which is essential for the survival of a democracy.” He also analyses, in depth, Pfeifer’s monumental nine-hour-long video installation About Education and Fear (2016), which, for Imdahl, serves as a centre point in discussing an awakened populism within Germany, Europe, and the world at large, by looking at “the causes and consequences of racism and xenophobia from various angles, drawing, in formal terms, on pop culture, documentary filmmaking, and theatre.” In June 2019, renowned Canadian artist Stan Douglas joined Pfeifer for a highly dynamic In Conversation in front of a live audience. The transcribed and edited conversation touches on key aspects of the formal, political, and social implications found in Pfeifer’s works over the past decade, including notions of appropriation, the relevance of pop culture and music for visual art practices, identity politics, and the experience of nationalism. Lastly, Nomaduma Rosa Masilela’s essay introduces Pfeifer’s first performance work, Again – Live (2019), which had its world premiere at Amsterdam’s Pakhuis de Zwijger. Taking as her starting point her analysis of Samuel Beckett’s famous play Waiting for Godot (1953), Masilela proceeds to current sociopolitical debates about the ongoing news of police brutality and the toppling of “colonial conquerors and oppressive histories” across the globe to remind us of Beckett’s plea: “Let us do something, while we have the chance!”—Gaëtane Verna