In 2016, Kunstverein München dropped a ‘black box’ into a ‘white cube’. And with it, a variety of tools – curtains, carpet, sofas, a hanging screen, media players, high-powered audio speakers. Pitch black and acoustically dead, the Kino was constructed for presenting time-based work in the most appropriate possible conditions.
Film curator Vincent Stroep was enlisted to develop a one-year program of 11 films – a cumulative series straddling the thin line between ‘art’ and ‘cinema’, while also demonstratively dissolving this very distinction. A variety of other activities ensued: artist talks, member’s meetings, a video lecture, listening sessions, a discursive auction, a virtual performance within a multiplayer computer game. And so, the Kunstverein will continue exploring what a sofa-laden ‘black box’ offers a contemporary art institution – the forms of viewing, thinking, listening, conversing, and understanding it facilitates, the ways the functions its architecture prescribes can be extended or disrupted, the potential it offers for collaborating with other institutions, schools, film festivals, and programs in Munich and abroad.
In 2017, the Kino will remain a distinct space for viewing a singular work during Adam Putnam’s Reclaimed Empire (Deep Edit), and will become increasingly integrated into the rest of the program over the course of the year. This process will begin with Theatre of Measurement – an ongoing and shifting group exhibition in the Schaufenster am Hofgarten. It will continue through Fresh Mussels – a new variety show reanimating the Kunstverein’s archive through experimental formats. And it will accelerate during Jos de Gruyter and Harald Thys’ large-scale solo exhibition and, later, the group exhibition A rock that keeps tigers away.