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The Münzkabinett’s exhibition Art Coins Money: MUSE MACHT MONETEN, on display from 22 June 2018 in Speyer

11.06.2018
Bode-Museum

Art makes money, and money makes art. How do artists interact with this tension between freedom and restriction, market and power? The special exhibition Art Coins Money: MUSE MACHT MONETEN, first shown in the Bode-Museum in Berlin (24.11.2016 to 27.05.2017) and now on display from 22 June 2018 in a modified form at the Volksbank in Speyer, gives artists themselves the chance to talk about their work. The exhibition in Speyer was created in collaboration with the Speyer Numismatic Society, continuing a long and storied tradition.  

The exhibition is organized around three pillars. The first is formed by medallions that were created in the early 1990s by sculptors, especially from the former East Berlin. In projects and editions, they addressed the economic, political, social and cultural situation with equal measures of critique and humour.

Some 25 years later, in 2014, a new call-out was made to artists, supported by the German Society for Numismatic Art. Artists were asked to produce medallions that provided statements and shared personal stories about the conflicts between money, power, freedom and commerce. The works that were exhibited in the Münzkabinett provided the exhibition with a contemporary perspective, which formed the second pillar of the exhibition. These new medallions are vibrant testaments to the hardships and fears that artists face, as well as the ambitions and individual strategies used to confront the dilemmas posed by the constraints of the market.

The third pillar is formed by artificial money and the art of money in the form of bank notes. The group Ioë Bsaffot’s project Knochengeld (Bone Money) is a piece of East-Berlin history, which brought together more than 50 artists shortly after the fall of the wall. Then there is Helmut King’s poppy, humorous Kretzergeld (perch money) from the early 2000s. And finally there is Bode-Honey by artist Nikolaus Eberstaller, brimming with irony and social critique. Eberstaller has made a money series especially for MUSE MACHT MONETEN, which casts a highly critical eye on human greed.

Artists

The exhibition includes works by the following artists: Rossen Andreev, Axel Bertram, Manfred Butzmann, Karin Dammers, Marianne Dietz, Peter Ralf Dünwald, Nikolaus Eberstaller, Wilfried Fitzenreiter, Florian Flierl, Maya Graber, Alma Greiner, Georgij Gugunava, Maria Lucia Hardegen, Evelyn Hartnick, Heinz Hoyer, the group Ioë Bsaffot, Andreas A. Jähnig, Karoline Keiter, Helmut King, Klaus Kowalski, Anna Martha Napp, Katja Neubert, Roland Nicolaus, Charlotte Pannicke, Wadim Rokowski, Gerhard Rommel, Luise Rüdiger, Lena Schirrmeister, Jutta Schölzel, Anna Franziska Schwarzbach, Petra Schwenzfeier, Josef Speier, Carsten Theumer and Heidi Wagner-Kerkhof.

Exhibition Location

Volksbank Kur- und Rheinpfalz eG/Diaalogzone Bahnhofstraße 19 67346 Speyer

Publications

The special exhibition was accompanied by a catalogue: A. Küter – B. Weisser, Kunst prägt Geld: MUSE MACHT MONETEN: Eine Ausstellung des Münzkabinetts mit Leihgaben der Sammlung Haupt „Dreißig Silberlinge – Kunst und Geld“, Das Kabinett 16, Berlin 2016. 255 pages, numerous colour reproductions, ISBN: 978-3-86646-137-6, price: €29.00.

A separate essay has been published on Bode-Honey: Alexa Küter, Nikolaus Eberstaller: ‘Honey – Home made money, Bode Edition (2016)’, in DGW-Information, Volume 2, 2017, pp. 20–29.