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Under Construction: New Acquisitions for the Nationalgalerie Collection at Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart – Berlin

June 2, 2022–January 15, 2023
Opening: June 1, 7pm

Under Construction: New Acquisitions for the Nationalgalerie Collection at Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart – Berlin presents 15 acquisitions of partly large-scale works by Nairy Baghramian, Eduardo Basualdo, Thea Djordjadze, Ceal Floyer, Sandra Gamarra Heshiki, Melvin Moti, Manfred Pernice & Martin Städeli, Mariela Scafati, Dierk Schmidt, Daniel Steegmann Mangrané and Bartolina Xixa. The exhibition focuses on mechanisms of exhibiting and reflects on aspects such as sustainability and diversity as guidelines for institutional collecting. It comprises installations, paintings, sculptures, videos and works on paper.

Since the Nationalgalerie of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin was founded in 1861, its collection has been continually expanded to include contemporary works of art from each new era. The Hamburger Bahnhof, one of the Nationalgalerie’s three larger museums, has provided an extensive space for the collection and exhibition of contemporary art since 1996. More recently, the collection has been “under construction,” particularly since the exhibition and research project Hello World. Revising a Collection (2018) which considered the underlying political and cultural conditions of collecting and took into account transcultural approaches in the expansion of the Nationalgalerie’s holdings.

The Under Construction exhibition is a presentation of acquisitions made in the past few years with which the Nationalgalerie collection is continuing to develop along these lines. There is no single dominant thematic thread running through this presentation of the collection. Instead, a broad spectrum of references and discourses with regard to form and content is evident in the various artistic approaches. These allow us to contemplate the self-image of museums as public places for reflection and exchange on the current situation in the world and its upheavals. In their works, the artists examine the institution of the museum and its spaces, as well as the practices and politics of showing and collecting—both explicitly and in a broader sense. They raise questions about the representation of history in relation to today’s world and, with their individual approaches and references, help to shape our view of the past and present. In their works, they examine political events and their historical backgrounds, address processes of recycling and reworking previous artworks and explore relationships between the body and space, subject and object, nature and culture, imagination and reality. They focus on constructions of memory and cultural identity, claims to power and forms of racism, as well as on alternative, collaborative modes of coexistence. Expanding on the relationship between a museum and its collection in this sense as a dynamic one, Under Construction is a key step on this journey.

This exhibition has been made possible by the Freunde der Nationalgalerie.

Curators: Gabriele Knapstein, Alice Koegel

Assistant Curator: Luisa Bachmann

Further exhibitions at Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart – Berlin

Nation, Narration, Narcosis: Collecting Entanglements and Embodied Histories
November 28, 2021–July 3, 2022
A special exhibition of the Nationalgalerie—Staatliche Museen zu Berlin in dialogue with the collections of Galeri Nasional Indonesia (Jakarta, Indonesia), MAIIAM Contemporary Art Museum (Chiang Mai, Thailand), and Singapore Art Museum (Singapore), funded by the German Federal Cultural Foundation and initiated and funded by the Goethe Institut.

Church for Sale: Works from the Haubrok Collection and the Nationalgalerie Collection
November 28, 2021–September 18, 2022

June 10–October 09, 2022

12th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art
June 11–September 18, 2022

Press: [email protected]

Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart – Berlin
Invalidenstrasse 50/51
10557 Berlin
Hours: Tuesday–Friday 10am–6pm,
Thursday 10am–8pm,
Saturday–Sunday 11am–6pm
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