27-29th May 2024
Looking back, German pop culture in the 2000s was downright iconic: The No Angels dominated the charts, Kader Loth provided us with legendary one-liners on TV and "Verliebt in Berlin" was on every day in Germany's teenage bedrooms. Back then, however, this kind of mainstream pop culture was laughed at by many - and even today it is not uncommon for the whole thing to be labelled "trash".
How we consume pop culture is of course influenced by many factors - including internalised thought patterns such as sexism, homophobia and classism. These dynamics are worth pointing out and, above all, breaking down - also in view of the fact that many, in the name of "good taste", repeatedly invoke in a bourgeois manner that German pop culture of the 2000s is not "real" culture, in contrast to theatre, public service content or music that was not created by casting shows.
This is precisely why Galerie Arschgeweih has taken it upon itself to lovingly curate the most iconic moments of German pop culture of the 00s in the form of memes. Galerie Arschgeweih is one of the most successful meme sites in the German-speaking world. The creators Franz Lichtenegger, Daniel Wiegärtner and Verena Bogner describe the accounts on Instagram and TikTok as a digital museum. They rely on humour at eye level and categorically reject "Guilty Pleasure" and "Trash" as a description for pop culture.
Why they see themselves as the "avenging angels of trash", why the best memes go viral without much calculation and correction loops, and what it all has to do with DJ Ötzi and Prince Harry, they tell us in their talk at #rp23.