20 Years of the Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart – Berlin

19.10.2016
Hamburger Bahnhof - Museum für Gegenwart - Berlin

This autumn, the Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart – Berlin is celebrating its 20th anniversary by offering free admission on the weekend of 5 and 6 November 2016. On those days, we will offer an extensive exhibition programme to the public. The weekend will also be framed by a concert and event series taking place from 27 October until 3 December 2016.

On 1 November 1996, the Hamburger Bahnhof was opened as another large site of the Nationalgalerie, in a historic building that had been renovated and expanded by Josef Paul Kleihues. In 2004, the museum nearly doubled its exhibition space thanks to the accession of the adjoining Rieckhallen, renovated by Kühn Malvezzi, so that in the future not only special exhibitions but also the growing collection of the Nationalgalerie and the private collections of such figures as Erich Marx and Friedrich Christian Flick could be housed at the site. With approximately 10,000 sq. m. of exhibition space, the Hamburger Bahnhof is one of the world’s most important museums of art created after 1960.

The exhibitions and events taking place in the context of the 20th anniversary celebration will focus on the social relevance of the museum and on its shifting function within a broadened understanding of art. In this context, starting from 22 October 2016, the historic hall will host a detailed installation by Christoph Büchel that poses questions about the state of Western democratic societies. Training Ground for Training Ground for Democracy reflects the artist’s many years of confronting political, military, legal and cultural questions surrounding US society. The resulting works, created in 2007, are on show again for the first time to coincide with the upcoming presidential elections in the US. The installation is part of the extensive donations of Friedrich Christian Flick to the Nationalgalerie.

From 27 October to 13 November 2016, the exhibition and concert project SCORES from the series Music Works by Visual Artists will be presented in the Rieckhallen. With works by Saâdane Afif, Christian Marclay, Ari Benjamin Meyers and Jorinde Voigt in different media, the project is devoted to the theme of the musical score. Since the 1960s, the score has been understood against the background of an expanded concept of art that extends beyond traditional understandings of notation, as a diverse recording medium that is constantly being re-interpreted.

On 2 and 3 December 2016, the Nationalgalerie will hold a public meeting, also in the context of the anniversary, in which international guests will discuss the future of the museum in an age of globalization. The conference will be held on the occasion of the exhibition project Global Resonances, planned for late 2017, which deals with a revision of the collection of the Nationalgalerie. Reflecting on the international and intercontinental interconnectedness of art since 1900, the project considers the impact of current social and economic developments on the work of museums.

The strong message that art can send in response to certain societal situations is demonstrated in Robert Indiana’s iconic work of Pop Art Imperial Love (1966/2006), which has been on view in the courtyard of the Hamburger Bahnhof since September, thanks to a donation from the Morgan Art Foundation. Indiana’s subject is one of the most famous works of recent art history and has become part of the collective visual memory of people across the world. Visitors wishing to make reference to the 20th anniversary of the museum are invited to share their impressions under the hashtag #20yearsoflove.

The exhibitions Manifesto by Julian Rosenfeldt and CAPITAL. DEBT - TERRITORY - UTOPIA will be shown until the weekend of  5 and 6 November 2016. The solo exhibition of Turkish artist Karamustafa runs until 15 January 2017.

The weekend with free admission on November 5 and 6 has been made possible by Erich Marx, whose collection has been a central part of the museum since its opening, as well as by the Freunde der Nationalgalerie.