Broken Music Vol. 2
70 Years of Records and Sound Works by Artists

17.12.2022 to 14.05.2023
Hamburger Bahnhof – Nationalgalerie der Gegenwart

They were all there, Björk, Yoko Ono, Sonic Youth, and of course John Cage: “gelbe MUSIK”, a small record store opened in 1981 in West Berlin. It was run until 2014 by Ursula Block, who in 1989 curated the legendary exhibition Broken Music: Artists’ Recordworks. The exhibition made one thing clear above all else: if there is a medium that has reflected the interplay between art and music since the post-war era, then it is vinyl. Artists ranging from Andy Warhol to Raymond Pettibon have created iconic cover artworks, while Christina Kubisch releases audio for expansive sound installations, and performances or readings by figures such as Anne Imhof and Jimmie Durham have made records accessible to later audiences. Broken Music Vol. 2 follows the history of vinyl in art into the present day, featuring some 700 records and sound installations from 70 years of art and music history. 

The exhibition in the Rieckhallen stretches over some 2,500 square metres and gathers records by Saâdane Afif, Fatima Al Qadiri, Laurie Anderson, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Angela Bulloch, John Cage, Hanne Darboven, John Giorno, Christian Marclay, Meredith Monk, Michaela Melián, Yoko Ono, Carsten Nicolai, Cornelia Schleime, Wolfgang Tillmans and Andy Warhol. The exhibition also features several expansive sound installations drawn from the collection by Rolf Julius, Christina Kubisch, Bernhard Leitner and Susan Philipsz, as well as videos by figures such as Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster and Douglas Gordon.

In response to the collection’s focus on media art, Ursula Block’s collection of artist’s records was acquired for the Hamburger Bahnhof in 2019 with the help of the Ernst von Siemens Kunststiftung and the Ernst von Siemens Musikstiftung. Thanks to the support of the Freunde der Nationalgalerie and a number of donations, this collection has been significantly expanded, with the addition of a number of more contemporary works.

A special exhibition by the Nationalgalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, curated by Sven Beckstette and Ingrid Buschmann, curators at Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart – Berlin.

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