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Hanna Magauer

Dissertation Project

„Distributed Practices. Strategies of post-conceptual art in France in the 1980s and the work of Philippe Thomas“ (working title)

In view of today’s contemporary art, philosopher Peter Osborne speaks of a “postconceptual condition,” a state in which a “radically distributive” contemporary art creates the fiction of a global unity. In the exchanges of the Western European and North American art worlds at the end of the 1970s, this state seems to be gaining ground. The dissertation project explores this in the specific case of post-conceptual art in France in the 1980s: At a time when many artists and theoreticians perceive the critical models of the 60s and 70s neo-avantgardes as failed and/or anachronistic, and when the artistic reception of poststructuralist theory and language philosophy is confronted with an intensified impetus of international networking.
The dissertation investigates this particular constellation in the work of Parisian artist Philippe Thomas (1951-1995), who from the end of the 1970s onward pursued an approach between Institutional critique and the conceptual visualization of his professional network. By way of his agency Readymades belong to everyone®, for instance, he transferred his authorship to his collectors and thus gave them visibility, leading to the gradual disappearance of his own name from the distribution networks of contemporary art. At the same time, he strategically and visibly placed his project in the vicinity of Institutional critique and the Pictures Generation in New York. On the basis of Thomas and his surroundings, the dissertation asks about relations of artistic practice, theoretical and art critical discourses, and socio-economic conditions within the artistic field. Strategies that might have been common in postmodernist art practice of the 1980s are, here, examined in their local specificity. And this aims, not least, at a contribution to the question which knowledges are in what way inscribed into contemporary art; and which knowledges contemporary art can, in turn, generate. 


Studies in literature, art, and media studies at the University of Konstanz (BA) and in art history and the history of images at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (MA). After graduation, employment as a gallery assistant with Nature Morte, Berlin; from 2013–2016, she also edited texts about art for the gallery, where she is still a member of the editorial board. In addition to her academic work, Hanna Magauer works as a freelance art critic and translator.



Please note that these listings appear in the language they were originally published.

Publications (excerpt)

„Philippe Thomas: A brief reception history“, preface, in: Elisabeth Lebovici,The Name of Philippe Thomas, book series by Kunsthalle Bern, ed. by Hannes Loichinger and Valérie Knoll, Berlin: Sternberg Press, 2018.

„Vom Teilen und Stehlen. Künstlerische Aneignungen digitaler Bildkultur der 00er Jahre“, in: Kunst & Wiederholung. Strategie, Tradition, ästhetischer Grundbegriff, hg.v. Till Julian Huss und Elena Winkler, Berlin: Kadmos, 2018.

„A Matter of Taste“, in: Halvor Rønning, I Would Button up My Shirt if I Could, artist book, ed. by Petter Snare, Oslo: Teknisk Industri, 2018.

 „Birgit Megerle, Galerie Neu, Berlin“, in: Artforum, Vol. 56, Nr. 8, April 2018.

„Für einen Blick hinter die Geste. Gedanken zum Kuratorischen auf der documenta 14“, in: Nr. 6, Juli 2017.

„Mantras der Gegenwart. Über die 9. Berlin Biennale“, Ausstellungsrezension, in: Texte zur Kunst 103, September 2016.

„Post-Net: The New Order“, in: Texte zur Kunst 100 („The Canon“), December 2015.

„Sturtevant (1930–2014)“, Nachruf, in: Texte zur Kunst 95, September 2014.

„Bringing down the Flags“, in: Özlem Günyol & Mustafa Kunt, Ausst.Kat. Dortmunder Kunstverein, Dortmund 2014.

„Ambivalenz und Wiederkehr. Über ‚Aneignung und Wiederholung. Bilddiskurse im Werk von Gerhard Richter und Sigmar Polke‘ von Julia Gelshorn“, Buchrezension, in: Texte zur Kunst 92, Dezember 2013.



Postmoderne Fiktionen. Philippe Thomas und die Gruppe ‚Information Fiction Publicité’“, Workshop „Mythen des Postfaktischen“, Kunsthochschule Mainz, 9.–10. Juni 2017.

„Aneignung und ‚virale‘ Bilder. Transmediale Prozesse zwischen Kunst und ‚Massenprodukt‘“, Dritter Schweizerischer Kongress für Kunstgeschichte, Sektion: „Genealogien der ‚Aneignung‘ in der Kunst der Gegenwart“, Universität Basel, 23.–25. Juni 2016.

„Vom Teilen und Stehlen. Künstlerische Aneignung und digitale Bildkultur der 90er und 00er Jahre“, Tagung „Wiederholung. Revision eines ästhetischen Grundbegriffs“, Kunstakademie Münster, 3.–5. Juli 2014.


WS 2017/18 „Dienstleistungskunst", Seminar, with Ildikó Szántó, UdK Berlin

WS 2016/17 „Theorie und Praxis der Kunstkritik", Kunsthistorisches Seminar der Universität Hamburg