On the second floor of the New Building you will find four presentations based on special museum models from the past. Each takes an inspiring look at the dynamic genesis of museums for modern and contemporary art and raise questions about the future of this institution. These projects show the developments that took place in the turbulent years before and after the Second World War and suggest different kinds of museums outside the familiar “white cube”.
As part of Politics of Collecting - Collecting of Politics the museum invited a number of artists to react on the presentations during this third part of Play Van Abbe. The focus will no longer be on the museummodels themselves, but on the collections they hold. These museum models have been developed by a diverse group of individuals.
Art historian Kai-Uwe Hemken and designer Jakob Gebert exhibit their realisation of Raum der Gegenwart. This unique museum installation was developed in the 1920s by Alexander Dorner and Láslzó Moholy-Nagy but it was not executed at the time. From mid December Hemken and Gerbert will make their new interference in the space noticeable.
The Museum of American Art in Berlin presents an ‘ethnographic’ installation in two galleries about the genesis of New York’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) (1929-1936), the twentieth century’s most influential modern art museum. The writer and poet Daniel Miller is invited to reinterpret this room.
Film maker Florian Schneider’s presentation is about André Malraux’s poetic museum concept Musée Imaginaire, a museum of reproductions. This project will be displayed in a new way from mid November.
The museum design of the Italian architect Lina Bo Bardi for the Museu de Arte de São Paulo (MASP) in 1968 is the basis for the different presentations that are on view. The first presentation was curated by artist Wendelien van Oldenburgh who will work with curator Grant Watson in the fall of 2010 to reinterpret the existing room.
Gallery 5 has been turned into a documentation area where the different museum modules have been placed in the context of the twentieth century’s exhibition history. There is also a presentation about the Old Building in the small gallery next to the lift. The Old Building, designed by A.J. Kropholler, was built during the period when most of the modules mentioned above were developed.
Guest curator Galit Eilat will also exhibit a series of films in the Activist Club from the Russian artists’ collective Chto Delat that show the museum as an icon in the popular media.