Thomas Mann Fellows | 2023

Feb, Mar, Apr

Marlene Grunert | Journalist

Marlene Grunert | Image: Alena Schmick
Marlene Grunert | Image: Alena Schmick

Marlene Grunert was born in 1986. After beginning to study theater and cultural studies in Leipzig, she studied law in Hamburg, Paris and Berlin, focusing on European and international law. Meanwhile, she worked at the Chair of Public Law of Prof. Dr. Arndt Schmehl and at the Hamburg University of Fine Arts. She completed her legal traineeship at the Berlin Superiour Court, with stages in the cultural department of the German Federal Foreign Office and at PEN America in New York. She worked for the Scientific Services of the German Bundestag and a member of parliament before joining the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung as a trainee in 2016. Since 2018, she has been working there as a political editor, with a focus on legal topics, in particular the Federal Constitutional Court.

Reditorial page Marlene Grunert

Project description
The question of whether or not the arts have a „Political Mandate“ might be answered succinctly: they can have one, but they don’t have to. Art is free. As much as there is general consensus about this, in practice there are bitter disputes. Marlene Grunert would like to focus on the consequences that political claims on art entail. Foremost, they concern art itself – a sphere of its own kind. Furthermore, legal questions arise when a university paints over a Gomringer poem or people call for the destruction of the painting „Open Casket“. Is artistic freedom violated here, or does recourse to the law serve rhetorical battles only? Artistic autonomy and „identity politics“ seem to be irreconcilably opposed to each other. Does the law offer a way out? To this end, it is necessary to clarify what constitutes artistic freedom, what endagers it, and to what extent social developments lead to constitutional change. Marlene Grunert would like to explore these questions from both a German and an American perspective.