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  • ISSUE #1 – 2022

    Joint Ventures. Der künstlerische Zugriff auf Kunstsammlungen und Ausstellungsgeschichte (ed. by Bärbel Küster, Stefanie Stallschus and Iris Wien)


    • Joint Ventures. Der künstlerische Zugriff auf Kunstsammlungen und Ausstellungsgeschichte
      Bärbel Küster, Stefanie Stallschus, Iris Wien


    • Das Abstrakte Kabinett in Hannover. Vorbote eines „lebenden Museums“?
      Ines Katenhusen


      Partly based on primary sources, the article investigates the genesis of one of the earliest spatial art works of Modernism: the “Abstraktes Kabinett” (Abstract Cabinet) which opened in the Hanover Provinzialmuseum in 1927 was commissioned by the museum director Alexander Dorner as part of his curatorial concept, and was based on earlier works of the artist El Lissitzky created for different contexts. Which tasks did the art historian and the artists respectively associate with this pioneering enterprise, which accents were they able to set, and where did their goals converge or diverge? Which political motifs were inscribed in the Kabinett and how and why did they change over the period of the two decades of its existence? And, lastly, in what way did these divergences and convergences shape the reception history of this space?

    • In wessen Interesse? Zu einer Ethik künstlerischer Sammlungspräsentationen
      Fiona McGovern


      Under what circumstances and with what aims are artists invited to work with museum collections? And to what degree do such Joint Ventures equally represent the interests of both parties? The article discusses these questions by drawing on Fred Wilson’s now canonical museum intervention Mining the Museum at the Maryland Historical Society in Baltimore in 1992/93 and Always, Always, Others. Unklassische Streifzüge durch die Moderne, a collection presentation at mumok in Vienna in 2015/16, which was co-curated by the artist Ulrike Müller and the museum’s in-house curator Manuela Ammer. The analyses are embedded in reflections on the legacy of institutional critique and debates that more recently have unfolded around the concepts of hospitality, care and sustainability in relation to curatorial practices. In conclusion, ethics is understood as the term that unites all three principles.

    • Eine Unternehmenssammlung als Readymade? Bethan Huws kuratorische Intervention in der Daimler Art Collection Berlin, 2016
      Iris Wien


      On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of Duchamp’s readymade, Bethan Huws conceived the exhibition On the Subject of Ready-Made or Using a Rembrandt as an Ironing Board on behalf of Daimler Contemporary Berlin. Starting by addressing the constellation of power implicit in the invitation to position herself at meta-level of the curator, the essay is devoted to a close reading of Huws’ strategies of appropriation in response to this institutional framework. Huws rejected the suggestion originally put forward by curator Renate Wiehager of depicting the reception history of the readymade concept by using examples from the corporate collection, together with one of Huws’ works to illustrate the continuance of this artistic direction. She did, however, seize upon the idea of genealogical descendancy in regard to Duchamp’s concept of the readymade. But instead of reaffirming this principle, this article argues that Huws appropriated the exhibition format and – by reactivating Duchamp’s idea of the Readymade réciproque – converted it into an artistic form.

    • Verschwindende Vermächtnisse. Kuratorische Interventionen im Zoologischen Museum des Centrums für Naturkunde (CeNak), Hamburg
      Annette Bhagwati


      What happens when different exhibition regimes meet in one curatorial space? In 2017, the exhibition “Disappearing Legacies – The World as a Forest” inserted thirteen positions by contemporary artists dealing with the destruction of tropical habitats in the Anthropocene into the Permanent Collection of the Zoological Museum Hamburg at the Centrum für Naturkunde (CeNak). This case study investigates the diverging mechanisms of agency in such a joint venture and examines the moments of contact in which the different narratives and scientific orderings of collection presentation on the one hand and temporary exhibition on the other intersect. The exhibition’s re-configuration of objects and discourses allows visitors to re-read both the exhibits and the archives and reveal – like clues in a forensic investigation – the colonial, historical, and political entanglements of the objects, and thereby to question established display strategies.

    • Aspekte der Positioniertheit. Interventionen zeitgenössischer Künstler*innen in ethnologischen Sammlungen aus kunstwissenschaftlicher Sicht
      Bärbel Küster



      This paper presents four examples of exhibitions in which artists engaged with items from ethnographic collections. They are scrutinized with regard to the concept of positionality and analyzed to what extent they meet the criteria of contemporary museum ethics. It becomes clear from these examples that the engagement with colonial history and claims to decoloniality from a contemporary standpoint cannot be achieved with every concept.  Not only can the idea of carte blanche, that is free rein in the development of a concept from the artist side, lead to very different results, but also these projects vary in each case with regard to the debate about the and renewal of ethnological collections and museums of the last 30 years.

    • Das Museum als Schauplatz reflexiver anthropologischer Situationen. Rirkrit Tiravanijas "untitled 1998" (das soziale kapital)
      Jörn Schafaff


      In 1998 the Migros Museum for Contemporary Art presented Rirkrit Tiravanija’s exhibition Das soziale Kapital. Recognized by the press mostly for its participatory approach and the convivial sociability of some of the exhibition’s offerings, the show was in fact designed as a set of environments evoking diverse modes of interaction, perception and behaviour: a fully functional Migros supermarket, a car repair shop, or several works by the artist inviting visitors to play music together or share a meal. Completed by artworks from the museum’s collection, the scenery thus oscillated between art exhibition, ethnographic museum and everyday life. Drawing on some of Tiravanija’s earliest works I will therefore argue that Das soziale Kapital should be understood as a performative critique of the prevailing conventions of exhibition culture.

    • Ein Museum transformieren. Das Frankfurter Weltkulturen Museum als Ort künstlerischer Produktion
      Stefanie Heraeus


      What practices, perspectives, questions and approaches can artists invoke at a museum that are significantly different from curatorial formulations? Under the direction of Clémentine Deliss, the Weltkulturen Museum in Frankfurt has declared that its collaboration with artists is the basis for all of the museum’s work. The ethnological collection was given the status of a historical artefact. On site, in the museum, new artistic productions were created to engage with the objects in the collection. In a process of changing media, remediation, both the type of museum and the medium museum with its exhibitions were modified. Transcending discipline-specific expertise and the categories inherent in cultural studies, new paths were explored in the postcolonial treatment of ethnological collections.

    • Zeitgenössische Videokunst und die Koproduktion des Kunstmuseums
      Stefanie Stallschus


      The critical examination of the art museum is an important theme in contemporary video art. In contrast to museum films with an educational focus, video art offers a great deal of freedom in the handling, presentation, and reconsideration of collections. Nevertheless, video artists are also fundamentally dependent on constructive cooperation with the institutions, as the realisation is entirely dependant on the support of staff within the house and on the permission to film and publish. This contribution studies contemporary video art by Alexander Glandien, Laure Prouvost, Marysia Lewandowska, and Neil Cummings. It will discuss how the selected works subvert functional differentiations of art, institutional critique, and museum education by making the art museum its very subject.

    • Das Museum, virtuelle Räume, Systemfehler und verlorene Welten. Sondra Perrys Videoinstallation IT'S IN THE GAME '17 (2017)
      Daniel Berndt


      On the one hand museums use video, new media and the production of elaborate feature films as marketing tools to assert their international status as guardians of cultural heritage and to highlight the importance of their collections. On the other, the institutions’ desire for increased attention gives artists and filmmakers the opportunity to make historical and otherwise static objects subjects of complex filmic, narrative and dynamic structures. “Joint ventures” between museums and video artists and filmmakers furthermore allow the latter to engage critically with the museum’s collection and to question its politics. At times, however, their critical perspective comes to fruition in such a poignant way that their works appear to be more an intervention in museums to address and change existing politics of collecting practices and display. Chris Marker and Alain Resnais’ Les statues meurent aussi (1953) is a paradigmatic example of this, which also serves as an important reference for Sondra Perry and her more recent video installation IT’S IN THE GAME ’17 (2017) – the main object of study of this text.


    • On Properties of Relation, in the Process of Repatriation
      Khadija von Zinnenburg Carroll
    • Public Movement. Performing the Nation
      Alhena Katsof


    • Christiane L. Joost-Gaugier, Islamic Elements in the Architecture of Puglia, Turnhout 2019
      Maria Vittoria Fontana
    • Mona AlJalhami, Murdo MacLeod, Mona Mansour, Idries Trevathan (eds.), The Art of Orientation. An Exploration of the Mosque through Objects, Munich 2020
      Ziad Jamaleddine
    • Michael Rothberg, The Implicated Subject. Beyond Victims and Perpetrators, Standford 2019
      Wendy M. K. Shaw