Museum PR Announcements News and Information

Haus der Kunst announces two exhibitions

As part of the programs marking its 75th anniversary, Haus der Kunst announce the simultaneous opening on June 9, 2012 of two major exhibitions: Image-Counter-Image and Histories in Conflict: Haus der Kunst and the Ideological Uses of Art, 1937–1955.

Occupying the vectors where global media industries, artistic reflexivity, and ideological power intersect, the two exhibitions undertake to explore the complex zones of mediatized image regimes and artistic propaganda in organizing public opinion. Accompanying the exhibitions will be a two-day symposium which will bring together some of the sharpest critical thinkers on the historical and theoretical issues surrounding the exhibitions.

Organized by Patrizia Dander, Leon Krempel, Julienne Lorz, and Ulrich Wilmes, the exhibition Image Counter Image (June 10–September 16, 2012) focuses on the critical analysis of media images of conflicts beginning with the Iraq War of 1990–91. This war represented an important turning point, not only in the visual vocabulary used, but also in the technological representation of wars. Through the dominance of night shots and the near absence of people in the images, representations of the conflict seemed to suggest “a war between machines,” further underscoring a strategy of distancing from the events. With the September 11, 2001 an inverse logic of conflict shifted from remote bombings to images of war being literally brought home. In that sense, events since 9/11 have become paradigmatic for the radical interpenetration of history, politics and image production. The media landscape has continued to change since then. Through the Internet and “social media” platforms, communication channels have enabled immediate global peer-to-peer exchange that has contributed to an almost instantaneous saturation of images. These channels are also used as an alternative source of reporting on events. With these shifts in production, circulation, and transmission the question arises of who is effectively in control of the production, dissemination and interpretation of global images of conflict. The terrain of control has become all the more contested.

Image-Counter-Image focuses not only on how certain conflicts are represented visually, and what this communicates about the public relationship to images and to representation, it also assumes an exploration into the derealisation of such images through the optics of art inquiry. Central to this inquiry is the problem of interpretation, as the production of images is always political in terms of distribution and the control of visibility. What are the political agendas related to a specific image production? How significant and informative is the image per se? How are images countered by other images, how do they interrelate? How do artists take a critical stance?

Curated by Sabine Brantl, the second exhibition to be inaugurated on June 9 is Histories in Conflict: Haus der Kunst and the Ideological Uses of Art, 1937–1955, marking the 75th anniversary of the inauguration of Haus der Kunst. Immediately after the Second World War Haus der Kunst began to critically examine and reinterpret its past when it began serving as an exhibition space again in 1946. Since 1996 Haus der Kunst has gradually repositioned its archive, presenting the research results to visitors in the form of a documentation, publications; in 2005 by the opening of its Historical Archives, and most recently through the establishment of the comprehensive Internet database in 2011 by the Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte (Central Institute for Art History) in Munich, the Deutsches Historisches Museum (German Historical Museum) in Berlin, and Haus der Kunst.

The research that has emerged over the last two decades provides immediate insight into the confluence of ideology and politics in the production and exhibition of art. Erected between 1933 and 1937 the building’s powerful presence was intended to emphasize its ceremonial concept and aura of a “temple of German art.” Correspondingly, the art presented within the buildings’ galleries through the Grosse Deutsche Kunstaustellung from 1937–1944, embodied an artistic practice that was supposed to counter the prevailing experiments of the historical avant-garde in Germany and Europe.

Until recently this research has primarily focused on the period before and during the Second World War, when only “German” art was presented. Conscious of its history and legacy and the international projection of the building as an instrument of National Socialist power, Haus der Kunst, in the exhibition Histories in Conflict: Haus der Kunst and the Ideological Uses of Art, 1937–1955, will explore the international connections of the building in its early years, linking the relationships between the Grosse Deutsche Kunstaustellung and Entartete Kunst (Degenerate Art) of 1937 to the 1937 Paris World Fair with it’s Albert Speer designed German Pavilion (where the model of Haus der Kunst was prominently displayed), and the Spanish Pavilion in which Picasso’s Guernica (an icon of anti-war art) was first exhibited. After the war, in 1955 Guernica was presented in Haus der Kunst and the first documenta opened in Kassel that year.

To reflect on and intervene into this history, Haus der Kunst has invited the renowned artist Christian-Phillip Mueller to design the presentation of the exhibition. Histories in Conflict: Haus der Kunst and the Ideological Uses of Art, 1937–1955 will present an extensive reflection on and overview of the legacy of Haus der Kunst drawn directly from documents, objects, photographs, paintings and sculptures both from its historical archive and from museum collections in Germany, Europe and the United States, including works and material which were shown in the Entartete Kunst (Degenerate Art) exhibition. At the closing of the exhibition in January 2013, Haus der Kunst will establish a permanent exhibition gallery dedicated to the collection of the historical archives.

Haus der Kunst
Prinzregentenstrasse 1
D-80538 Munich
Mon–Sun, 10am–8pm
Thu, 10 am–10pm
T +49 (0)89 21127-113
F +49 (0)89 21127-157
[email protected]

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *