"Germany is not an island"

Contemporary Art Collection of the Federal Republic of Germany Acquisitions 2012–2016

8 March to 3 June 2018

“Germany is not an island” – this quotation is not attributed to anyone in particular, but, nonetheless, has been used many public figures in a variety of contexts. When applied to this exhibition, it seeks to centre the idea of Germany as a multi-cultural place, somewhere where everyone is welcome. And a place where all forms of the arts can develop in an interdisciplinary manner. Art often looks for confrontation with conventional viewpoints and ideas, opening up new spaces that challenge us to be more tolerant, accepting and open to reflection. Art does not need any kind of societal consensus or agreement in order to function, it is, above all, independent. Nonetheless, it is political and inherently fostering of society, especially when it invokes its independence and idiosyncracy. It is only in this manner that it can elicit discourse, provide fresh impetus and call attention to things or suggest contemplation.

The exhibition showcases a total of 150 selected works by 81 artists, whose work has been acquired by a committee of experts for the Collection of the Federal Republic of Germany over the last five years for approximately 1.7 million Euros. They focused primarily, amongst other things, on the question, “Which artworks make particular reference to our society, and can convey information, now and in the future, about the state of our present-day Germany?” 

The decisive ideas and categories behind the conception of the exhibition included political and social significance, visual aesthetics and artistic considerations in respect of the media in question. The exhibition investigates what significance is accorded to formal and aesthetic deliberations, messages critical of the political and institutional, simple narratives and popular cultural stances within the context of conceptual art that is relevant to contemporary society. “Germany is not an island” accounts for the Federal Collection within the contemporary context, demonstrating how historic and current developments and tendencies, collective viewing habits and interrogations of visual structures are implemented artistically and as models for future practice.

The selection of works provides a good overview of contemporary artistic production, and makes clear that contemporary art forms embrace a broad palette of techniques and media – ranging from extensive installations to drawings, painting and sculpture, as well as photography, video and acoustic work. A look at the names of the artists exhibited demonstrates the multiple forms of contemporary art, springing as it does from a pluralism of cultures, world views, religions and lifestyles present within our German society.

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List of all artists

Franz Ackermann + Georges Adéagbo + Horst Ademeit + Saâdane Afif + Nevin Aladağ + Kader Attia + Monika Baer + Nairy Baghramian + Rosa Barba + Viktoria Binschtok + Shannon Bool + Matti Braun + Andrea Büttner + Nina Canell + Vajiko Chachkhiani + Clegg&Guttmann + Daniel Gustav Cramer + Natalie Czech + Paul Czerlitzki + Sebastian Dacey + Simon Denny + Thea Djordjadze + Jürgen Drescher + Jimmie Durham + Hedwig Eberle + Jan Paul Evers + Helen Feifel + Ceal Floyer + Carsten Fock + Isa Genzken + Douglas Gordon + Asta Gröting + Petrit Halilaj + Flaka Haliti + Toulu Hassani + Jörg Herold + Olaf Holzapfel + Sofia Hultén + Anne Imhof + Annette Kelm + Daniel Knorr + Seb Koberstädt + Jutta Koether + Jürgen Krause + Alicja Kwade + Klara Lidén + Jonas Maas + Antje Majewski + Ján Manuška + Rémy Markowitsch + Michaela Melián + Rabih Mroué + Michael Müller + Olaf Nicolai + Emeka Ogboh + Henrik Olesen + Michael Pfrommer + Wolfgang Plöger + Charlotte Posenenske + Bettina Pousttchi + Ricarda Roggan + Adrian Sauer + Max Schaffer + Santiago Sierra + Timur Si-qin + Kathrin Sonntag + Juergen Staack + Dirk Stewen + Hito Steyerl + Ignacio Uriarte + Marcel van Eeden + Erik van Lieshout + Jeronimo Voss + Claudia Wieser + Lily Wittenburg + Ruth Wolf-Rehfeldt + Haegue Yang + Tobias Zielony + David Zink Yi + Zinny/Maidagan + Thomas Zipp

Admission tickets

€10/ €6.50 (concessions), Family ticket €16

School groups enjoy free admission to the exhibition on Fridays (booking necessary)
Happy-Hour-Ticket: 7 € (available two hours before the museum closes; individual visitors only, all exhibitions.) Combined ticket for all exhibitions available. More information

Show bibliography

Kunst- und Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland

Museumsmeile Bonn
Helmut-Kohl-Allee 4
53113 Bonn
T +49 228 9171–200

Opening hours

Mondays closed
Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 10 a.m.–9 p.m.
Thursdays–Sundays, 10 a.m.–7 p.m.
(including public holidays even those which fall on Mondays)