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Continuous lockdown: Bonn museums restructure their annual programmes

Continuous lockdown : Bonn museums restructure their annual programmes

Because of the lockdown, Bonn's museums are reorganising their annual programmes. The Bundeskunsthalle and the Kunstmuseum are extending exhibitions.

What is the present doing while I sleep? That is certainly an important question against the background of a partial standstill in pandemic times. Another question: "Is art reality, its opposite or none of the above? " This can perhaps only be answered behind the concrete walls on which this question is written in neon yellow letters: in the Kunstmuseum Bonn. For the last question, which reached the museum via social media channels, perhaps only philosophers can decide: "What is the beginning in the end? "For weeks, the team around artistic director Stephan Berg has been collecting statements, their own and from people connected to the museum. The questions are posed in the room, projected onto the wall or pinned up.

Between thoughtfulness and frustration

Stefanie Kreutzer, exhibition director and curator of modern art at the Kunstmuseum since autumn 2020, had the idea for the action, based on the question-and-answer game in an installation by the duo Fischli & Weiss "Findet mich das Glück? “ (2003). Berg recalls that the second lockdown threw the team into a mood that was "somewhere between thoughtfulness and frustration" and raised the question: "How do you communicate a closed museum to the outside world? “. And in a playful and not didactic way.

The new action offered itself as a proven antidepressant. Two façades are already covered with messages and questions, and the first forms of "creative vandalism" (Berg) are already taking place. Weather permitting - the letters only stick to dry walls and at temperatures above four degrees - the façades on the B9 and Hans-Dietrich-Genscher-Allee will be covered.

New dates for the Kunstmuseum and Bundeskunsthalle

And what happens inside? While only the Jawlensky exhibition "Face, Landscape, Still Life", which has not yet opened due to the lockdown, and the show on the Dorothea von Stetten Art Prize have currently been extended in the Kunstmuseum, everything remains with the old plan for the time being. Jawlensky now runs until 16 May, the Stetten Prize with young art from Switzerland until 25 April. The regular programme will then start at the beginning of March with the Videonale. This will be followed by Frank Bölter's "ultra all inclusive" (18 April), Susan Philipsz with "The Calling" (29 Apil) and "Sound to Silence. The Sound of Silence in Contemporary Art" (27 May). In the second half of the year, the Joseph Beuys show "Passierschein in die Zukunft" (7 October) with the multiples and newer positions of Katinka Bock and Jon Rafman (will) to follow, as well as Walter Swennen with "Das Phantom der Malerei" (3 June) and the show of the Kunstfonds scholarship holder Sung Tieu (14 October).

"Dress Code" postponed again

Next door at the Bundeskunsthalle, more extensive castlings were necessary. The new director of the Bundeskunsthalle, Eva Kraus, is not to be envied: Having just taken up her post in August 2020, she had to cope with more lockdown months than regular ones. Even more: the exhibition with which she wanted to shine as her own premiere in Bonn is being postponed again. Already at the end of September 2020, "Dress Code. The Game with Fashion" was to be launched. Then 26 March it was on the agenda, now the starting signal for "this highly enigmatic exhibition" is to be given on 21 May, "which will be presented in a very accessible and inspiring way at the same time", as Kraus promises.

The rest of the programme is largely being reorganised in line with the pandemic. For the Hannah Arendt exhibition, which has been waiting for its public since mid-December 2020, the Bundeskunsthalle has agreed on the phrase that the show will be on view "from the opening of the house until 16 May". While the opening dates for the show "Aby Warburg: Bilderatlas Mnemosyne. The Original" (26 February), "Beuys - Lehmbruck. Denken ist Plastik" (25 June) and "Bundespreis für Kunststudierende" (12 November), other exhibitions slip into the later part of the year: This applies to "Methode Rainer Werner Fassbinder. A Retrospective" (10 September) and "Hoffmann Collection" (29 October). The show on the brain planned for October will be postponed until next year.

"Hits & Anthems" at the House of History

The exhibition on Max Klinger, which slipped into lockdown two weeks after opening and would have run until the end of January 2021, will be extended until 5 April. Until then, the Bundeskunsthalle is keeping its head above water with an extensive digital offering.

The lockdown is also hitting the other museums in Bonn hard. The Haus der Geschichte, for example, is hoping for a reopening of the exhibition buildings in order to finally start the exhibition "Hits and Anthems. Sound of Contemporary History", while the Museum August Macke Haus finally wants to enter the ring with "Douglas Swan. Modern Classic". The LVR Landesmuseum will be holding a special event at the start of its major exhibition "The Germanic Tribes. An Archaeological Survey" (6 May) as is Fatima Hellberg on her Bonn premiere at the Kunstverein, "The Holding Environment" (12 March) and Marianne Pitzen on "Goddesses in the Rhineland" and "Boredom in Paradise" (from 7 March at the Frauenmuseum). "It's worth a visit! ", says Pitzen bravely.

Original text: Thomas Kliemann

Translation: Mareike Graepel