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Johann Jacobs Museum Reopens

The Johann Jacobs Museum reopened its doors this autumn. Its focus in the future will be on the cultural hybrids that have arisen, sometimes by design, sometimes by accident, on the highways and byways of global trade. These hybrids may include anything from sublime works of art to everyday objects or even social practices. They all point to unwritten chapters in transnational art history as well as to questions of postcolonial history, sociology and anthropology.

The Museum’s first activities spotlight the work of two women: designer and architect Lina Bo Bardi (1914–1992) and dancer, filmmaker and anthropologist Maya Deren (1917–1961). Bo Bardi emigrated in 1946 to Brazil, where she developed her trailblazing museum architecture. In 1947, Deren undertook her first research trip to Haiti to film voodoo rituals. That same year, Deren undertook her first research trip to Haiti to film voodoo rituals. Both women used their radical experience of being foreign to venture into new artistic territory and transform the modernist canon.

In keeping with its meandering, ambiguous subject matter, the Johann Jacobs Museum will take an open-minded approach to programming. Its exhibitions are essayistic in character. Thematic strands, such as the dialectic of modernism and colonialism, the migration of form, or the modes of perception conveyed in the displays are alluded to, enlarged up and modified over relatively long periods of time. Above all, however, the objects are viewed from different perspectives, both artistic and scientific.

Johann Jacobs Museum
Seefeldquai 17
CH-8034 Zurich