Hamburger Bahnhof Flips the Switch on Dan Flavin’s Light Art

Hamburger Bahnhof – Nationalgalerie der Gegenwart

Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart – Berlin is responding to current developments and sending a signal during the ongoing energy crisis. The museum is turning off the light installation Dan Flavin mounted on the façade for its opening in 1996 – probably until late March 2023.

When Hamburger Bahnhof opened as the Nationalgalerie’s venue for contemporary art on 1 November 1994, American artist Dan Flavin’s (1933–1996) work Untitled became a widely visible accent to the museum’s appearance within the cityscape. He had designed the fluorescent lights especially for the building’s façade and historical wings.

In view of the energy crisis, Hamburger Bahnhof has now decided to take the special step of switching off the installation with its green and blue fluorescent tubes this winter for the first time since the museum’s founding – likely until the end of March 2023.

“It is important that we as an internationally renowned museum set an example in the current situation and make our contribution to saving scarce resources”, said Till Fellrath, speaking jointly with Sam Bardaouil, director of Hamburger Bahnhof, in explaining the decision. “We hope that this difficult step for us will also inspire rethinking sustainable museum planning in general.”