Past exhibitions

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Max Klinger
and the Artwork of the Future

16 October 2020 to 5 April 2021

Max Klinger (1857–1920), a pioneer of German Symbolism, was one of the most prominent and controversial artists in the international art world around 1900. His work comprises paintings, sculptures and a large and varied body of prints. Inspired by Wagner’s idea of the gesamtkunstwerk, Klinger sought to overcome the division of the creative disciplines and to fuse painting, sculpture, architecture and even music into a single harmonious whole.
His ‘singular fantasticism’ and his vividly imagined, technically brilliant prints earned him great admiration early on in his career. In his paintings and sculptures, he turned away from the stale academicism and idealisation that governed figuration at the time and embraced a daring naturalism in the depiction of the naked human body that shocked his contemporaries. His novel approach played an important role in the modern conceptualisation of the human figure.
At the heart of the exhibition, which presents some 200 works from all areas of Klinger’s practice, is the monumental Beethoven sculpture of 1902. This extraordinary work is widely regarded as the epitome of the late romantic veneration of the composer and forms a spectacular visual highlight to mark the close of the Beethoven anniversary year of 2020.

In cooperation with the Museum der bildenden Künste Leipzig

Julius von Bismarck
Fire with Fire

4 September 2020 to 24 January 2021

‘I draw inspiration from science and work creatively,’ says Julius von Bismarck about his strategy. Always on the lookout for different forms of perception, he investigates man, nature and technology with the means of art. In his work Egocentric System, he subjected himself to centrifugal forces by spending extended periods of time in a shallow, fast-spinning concrete bowl to explore and manipulate his own perceptions and those of the viewer. In Punishment, he flogged the sea in Rio de Janeiro, the Statue of Liberty in New York and the mountains in the Alps. He chased hurricanes in the US and tamed lightning bolts in Venezuela to explore the aesthetic aspects of the forces of nature.
Von Bismarck processes these artistic expeditions into fascinating works. However mighty and devastating the elemental forces may be, in his work we become aware of the infinite beauty inherent in catastrophic events. The exhibition visualises von Bismarck’s creative engagement with forest fires in a multimedia installation, sound and sculptures. The exhibition taps into our subconscious and presents a striking ‘psychoanalysis of fire.’

Double Lives
Visual Artists Making Music

23 June to 18 October 2020

Taking its starting point in the sizable number of important artists who are as dedicated to musicmaking as they are to their visual practice, the exhibition focuses on the presentation of music. Large-screen projections of videos of concert and studio performances conjure a sense of being present at the live event and showcase different approaches to staging performance situations.
The exhibition spans the period from the early twentieth century to the present. Beginning with Duchamp and the Futurists, Yves Klein and the Fluxus artists Nam June Paik and Yoko Ono, it moves on to the key figures of the 1960s and 70s such as A. R. Penck, Gerhard Rühm or Hermann Nitsch. The protagonists of Proto-Punk like Captain Beefheart and Alan Vega usher in the numerous artists’ bands of the 1980s that numbered artists like Albert Oehlen or Pipilotti Rist among their members.
The stylistically more heterogenous scene since the 1990s is represented by Carsten Nicolai, Emily Sundblad et al.

An exhibition organised by mumok – Museum moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien in cooperation with Bundeskunsthalle

We Capitalists
From Zero to Turbo

13 March to 30 August 2020

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Capitalism is far more than simply an economic system. It is a social order that has shaped our thinking, perception and existence for centuries. Approaching the topic from a cultural and historical perspective, the exhibition examines the fundamental characteristics of Capitalism – rationalisation, individualisation, accumulation, money and investment – as well as typically Capitalist dynamics such as unrestricted growth and creative crises. In a way, this ‘DNA of Capitalism’ has long become part of our own DNA. How does Capitalism shape our identity and history, for example in terms of our individuality, sense of time, and attitude to material possessions? Can or must we change it – and do we want to?
With a selection of objects taken from the realms of art, history and everyday popular culture, the exhibition sheds light on a complex subject of great social relevance that touches each and every one of us.

Educational programme in cooperation with the Federal Agency for Civic Education.

Fragments from now
for an unfinished Future

30 June to 30 August 2020
An exhibition of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation
Admission free

The world is in flux: Old classification systems are being turned upside down and appear less reliable. Achievements once considered definitive, for example the creation of an open, peaceful world, are threatened by populist movements and the global threat of climate change and human rights violations. In light of this, it is becoming ever more important to take a stand. Fourteen young scholarship-holders of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation do just that. With their photographs, video works and installations, they address social questions such as diversity and migration and champion an engagement with the world that conceives of all the arts as an integral part of an overarching social discourse.

With Saskia Ackermann, Darío Aguirre, Yevgenia Belorusets, Cihan Cakmak, Soso Dumbadze, Öncü Hrant Gültekin, Raisan Hameed, Carsten Kalaschnikow, Ksenia Kuleshova, Dariia Kuzmych, Sebastian Mühl, Neda Saeedi, Amir Tabatabaei und Vilmos Veress, curated by Beate Eckstein and Annelie Pohlen.

State of the Arts
Video ∙ Installation ∙ Performance

16 June to 16 August 2020

The exhibition presents one of the most intriguing artistic phenomena of our time: the fusion of the visual and the performing arts. Today, more often than not, a visit to an exhibition does not merely offer new visual impressions. Instead, it is a more comprehensive experience that involves all the senses. Artists combine video, performance, dance, language and music, creating intermedial works. In some cases, this results in giving the visitors the opportunity to give up the distanced position of the viewer and become part of the work.
The fusion of the arts that causes the boundaries between the disciplines to disappear is a phenomenon of contemporary art that emerged in the 1960s. The term intermedia was used to celebrate the diversity of artistic possibilities, and experiments combining music, theatre, visual art and literature were launched. The Fluxus movement with its happenings and use of new media was especially influential in shaping this broader concept of art. Today in 2020, the extension of artistic media into all conceivable fields has long since become widely accepted. The exhibition brings together works that playfully move between different artistic disciplines – performative sculptures, sound works and installation art as well as performances.