The Nationalgalerie is currently reassessing its holdings with the aim of seeing them from a global perspective. The research and exhibition project has been funded by the German Federal Cultural Foundation, as a part of the initiative ‘Global Museum’. Characterized by historical and political ruptures, the collection is currently Western-oriented, expanded mainly by a marked focus on North America, and the merging of East and West German post-war art collections. What might the collection include today, had a global understanding characterized its concept of art and consequently also its genesis? What challenges would such a change in perspective – as motivated by the heightened interconnectedness of our increasingly globalized world – bring to a museum, today and in the future?
The exhibition project "Hello World. Revising a Collection" asks these questions and more. It will be on display from April 28 until August 26, 2018 at the Hamburger Bahnhof, covering the majority of the exhibition space. Works and groups of works from the collection function as starting points for thematic explorations of the complex web of international and trans-cultural ties, from 1900 to the present. A curatorial team is in the process of creating a draft for a museum that displays the historical, cultural, and political complexity of its holdings.
The weekend of oceanic performances, installations and panels, presented by the TBA21–Academy in association with the Nationalgalerie of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin is prologue of the the research and exhibition project of the Nationalgalerie, which is part of the ‘Museum Global’ initiative.
The title is based on a Polynesian creation myth, according to which the archipelagos’ islands were fished out of the sea. Within 36 hours, i.e. three tide cycles, the project comprises a diverse programme of oceanic activities in the historic hall of the Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart – Berlin.
The conference ‘The Idea of the Global Museum’ was held at the Hamburger Bahnhof on 2 and 3 December 2016. Over two days, conference participants offered specific knowledges and points of view: What are the effects of a “global” approach on museum work past, present, and future? What are its necessities, possibilities, and challenges? Is there a common denominator for “global” museum practice?
Offering alternative narratives to a limited yet mainstream canon of art has become one of the primary tasks of museum practice. The conference takes this status quo as a starting point for discussing museum programs, particularly those of museums of modern and contemporary art, which are thinking research, collection, exhibition, and public from a global perspective. In current discourse, such endeavors take notions of inclusivity and diversity as well as universalism and imperialism as animating principles. They all enter into “The Idea of the Global Museum,” a title that serves as shorthand for a debate on the different approaches that museums are taking today, and that could be taken in the future.