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Exhibition aims to develop ideas for the art museum of the future
Gerard van Honthorst, Solon vor Körsus, 1624. © Hamburger Kunsthalle / bpk. Photo: Elke Walford.

HAMBURG.- In the exhibition series My Perspective, the Hamburger Kunsthalle and the Körber Foundation are developing ideas for the art museum of the future, envisaged as an open forum for engaging with art where the diverse members of the community feel welcome. The project My Perspective has set out to help make this vision a reality by strengthening the museum’s role as a setting for dialogue, inviting Hamburg’s citizens to actively participate by sharing and discussing their own personal questions and interests with others. My Perspective thus takes up and expands on the deliberately experimental exhibition project Open Access from 2017. Most of the 17 participants in My Perspective are regular visitors to the Kunsthalle. What inspires them personally when they encounter artworks and art objects? What do they want to know about the works, and how would they like to obtain this information? Do they see the museum as a place where they can contribute to current discussions?

For My Perspective three curators have each selected one work from the collection: Gerard van Honthorst’s Solon before Croesus (1624), Lawrence Alma-Tadema’s The Vintage Festival (1871) and Max Beckmann’s Odysseus and Calypso (1943). The participants worked in three groups in workshops devoted to one of these artworks. This gave them an opportunity to share their thoughts, questions and interpretations and to discuss them with the curators. One group is made up of members of the friends’ society Freunde der Kunsthalle e.V., one comes from the Steindamm community group in Hamburg’s St. Georg district and the third group consists of members of the Chamber of Trade.

Based on the question »What is meaningful for me about this artwork?«, the participants selected additional works from the museum’s depot and jointly decided which of them should be exhibited in the show. Starting 25 January 2019, the three central works will be presented at different locations in the museum, supplemented by the other artworks selected. The groups can thus decide for themselves how their results will be presented and communicated to other visitors to the museum, with the aim of making their thoughts and decision-making processes apparent. The three presentations will leave room for the diverse perspectives of the group members and the curators. Complex meanings and interpretations of the artworks will thus emerge that will in turn stimulate further discussions.

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