An archive and three case studies with contributions by Mabe Bethonico and Liam Gillick
11 October – 23 November 2003
To celebrate its 180th anniversary and 50 years residence in the galleries by the Hofgarten, Kunstverein München presented Telling Histories. With this exhibition, the Kunstverein wished to address its recent history and practice as an art institution. The project was based on the reorganisation and extension of the institution´s archive and focused on three exhibitions from its recent past: Poetry must be made by all! Transform the world! (1970), Dove sta memoria by Gerhard Merz (1986) and A Society of Taste by Andrea Fraser (1993). Besides provoking strong local reception, the three exhibitions as case studies also provided the possibility to comprehend very different discussions about the role of cultural institutions.
The artist Mabe Bethonico had investigated the Kunstverein´s archive from an artistic rather than historiographic point of view. She had selected and edited the material in a database and so made parts of the archive available to the public. The spatial situation had been conceptualised and designed by the artist Liam Gillick. This included the staging of the three talk shows - public panel discussions, which brought together a number of different people who were involved in the key exhibitions. So rather than reconstructing the past, the aim was to reactivate the discussions in a contemporary context. In addition, the symposium Curating With Light Luggage, which was also part of the project, offered a view into the future of curatorial practice.
Telling Histories, 2003. Installation views Kunstverein München e.V., 2003. Courtesy Kunstverein München e.V.