MK: In the preface to your 1971 portfolio of editions, Grafik des Kapitalistischen Realismus, you described Capitalist Realism as explicitly political, a form of social intervention, and expressed disappointment in the participating artists later ‘fleeing’ to the fine arts. Do you still hold this perspective?
RB: When I published Grafik des Kapitalistischen Realismus,...we already had some distance from this term. It was a concept of the mid-‘60s, after the Berlin Wall had been erected. Nevertheless, it was important for me to have a section in the book in which images of works of artists of the Kapitalistischer Realismus were juxtaposed with works from East German artists who worked in the style of Socialist Realism. This was a very interesting confrontation, done for the first time. And it demonstrated that Capitalist Realism was also a kind of political statement. So yes, I expressed disappointment that the artists from the West by then seemed to have fled to the fine arts, seemed to have given up their inimitable position. That this worry was without reason, however, became evident in the later works from the ‘80s and ‘90s of Brehmer and Polke, and most certainly in Richter’s Baader-Meinhof cycle, October 18, 1977.
From an interview with gallerist René Block, Artforum, April 2014