From the top: installation view; Tobias Buckel, at Form is What Happens, Archiv Massiv, Leipzig / Courtesy and © the artists
“Form is what happens. It’s the fact of things in the world, however they are.” is a little known quote from the American poet Robert Creeley. With this statement he extended his prior principle “Form is never more than an extension of content”, which his older colleague Charles Olson used in 1950 in a manifest for the ‘Projective Verse’ – an open-form lyric. They demanded a separation of postmodern poetry from its static tradition and encouraged abstract tendencies, which had already begun in fine arts. Creeley’s proposition applied to the freedom of artistic expression and its diversity. Yet, despite its early empowerment, the form remains a condition of artistic production, be it a form of formlessness. Also contemporary painting – another medium that is preceded by a dictate of forms – is confronted with the question of what could be considered a painterly form today and which parameters determine its motifs.