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Pssst: An Exhibition for Kids at the MMK in Frankfurt
Raumansicht MMK Zollamt. RECHTS: Philip Waechter, Walfisch, 2012 Philip Waechter, MITTE: Christopher Fellehner, Geheimbotschafter, 2012 Christopher Fellehner, Foto: Axel Schneider.
FRANKFURT.- For the first time, the MMK Museum fr Moderne Kunst is presenting an exhibition for its very youngest visitors: “Pssst”: from 15 December 2012 to 27 January 2013, the MMK Zollamt is featuring works by sixteen artists developed especially for this show. Within this framework, two artists’ groups, one based in Frankfurt and the other in London, have joined forces – groups which for many years now have been investigating the question of what an artistic aesthetic for children might look like. This is the first time either of them has participated in an international collaboration.

The exhibition “Pssst” is being carried out in cooperation with the kinder museum frankfurt. In addition to a joint work by all of the artists involved, installations by the English artists Matthew Bromley and Simon Peplow also are on view at the kinder museum frankfurt.

At “Pssst”, children from five to twelve years of age can discover everything about the subject of secrets. In the process, they will encounter strange beings and tricky riddles; they’ll pursue secrets, expose them or keep them to themselves. In addition to paintings and installations, the show will also encompass interactive artworks.

“Involvement and dialogue with children and teenagers has always been an important aspect of our work at the museum. ‘Pssst’ is an opportunity for us to show contemporary art geared directly to this target group and designed for their participation. We hope to be able to strengthen children’s enthusiasm for art with this exceptional show”, comments MMK director Dr Susanne Gaensheimer The topic of the secret has been addressed by the participating artists in a wide range of different ways. The question of who a secret can be entrusted to and whether it will be kept safely is investigated by the English artist Rob Lowe a.k.a. Supermundane on his secret wall, and by Zuni and Kirsten Zubinski, whose Confession Booth inquires into the whereabouts of private confessions. A secret writing system by Thomas Forsyth and Christopher Fellehner’s Secret Ambassador offer means of enciphering secrets. The works by Anke Kuhl and Adam Higton show that anybody can become part of a secret completely unawares. And Jrg Mhle’s picture series of famous secrets documents how difficult it sometimes is to be a bearer of secrets or a superhero with different identities.

Secret-bearers need retreats, hiding places and stealth. Graffiti writers are experts on such matters, and the artist Matthew Bromley takes visitors on their trail. Moni Port’s Trouser Pocket Finds from all over the world demonstrate that trouser pockets are often used as safe – if temporary – repositories. Gemma Correll’s Monster Jaws and the fanciful drawings by Philip Waechter require the children to be a bit daring in order to uncover secrets – in the truest sense of the word.

The participating artists from Frankfurt belong to an artists’ group called Labor (“Lab”) which has achieved international success with graphics, illustrations and art for children. Every edition of their “scribble books” for young artists reaches tens of thousands of children and has been translated into many languages. Labor has been designing the back cover of the MMK’s monthly children’s programme for many years.

The artists from England have made a name for themselves in part with their exceptional children’s magazine Anorak. Four times a year, a small editing office in London assembles a team of graphic designers, illustrators and artists to design an edition of the magazine, choosing a different theme each time.

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