200 years of Kunstverein München
January – December 2023
As one of the oldest art associations, Kunstverein München celebrates its 200 years anniversary in 2023. The annual program is therefore devoted to an examination and negotiation of the institution, its history, and its publics and to the artists who shaped it. Beginning with a solo exhibition by Richard Frater in January, the bicentennial’s program further unfolds with a continuously evolving exhibition of archival material from May to August, the celebratory anniversary weekend at the end of June, and a comprehensive publication bringing together contributions by Andrea Fraser, Christian Fuhrmeister, Quinn Latimer, Doreen Mende, Philip Ursprung, and many more.
The program ties in with various formats and structural changes implemented in the lead-up to the bicentenary that insist on the incompleteness of the archive and the possibility of reconsidering and revisiting it continually. This includes the inauguration of the Archive Space as a permanent format. Along with this, a three-part summer school, the creation of an archivist position, the comprehensive digitization of historical records, and a focus on the reappraisal of the institution’s complex and antagonistic past form the basis of thinking along 200 years of Kunstverein München.
The Kunstverein is not only a space for the production and presentation of contemporary art but also for social exchange. Consequently, the institution is not a framework in which a single narrative is woven, but rather a container that can hold a multitude of stories. It is therefore not only important to close historical gaps, but also to alter the structures in which work is produced, documented, and archived in order to allow for more porous narratives to emerge.
Image: Transform the world! Poetry must be made by all!. Photo: Branko Senjor, 1970; Design: Enver Hadzijaj, 2023.