Performance series in the Hofgarten
with Shade Théret, Magdalena Mitterhofer, Luisa Fernanda Alfonso, and Jan Kunkel
May 20; June 30; September 9, 2023
An art institution never exists only within its own material walls: in the summer of 2023, the spaces of the Kunstverein München will physically expand into the adjacent Hofgarten through the performance series Park.
Across three iterations, the invited artists Shade Théret, Magdalena Mitterhofer, Luisa Fernanda Alfonso, and Jan Kunkel test the park as a socially resistant site by questioning the previously told stories of the Hofgarten. The garden was conceived as a private and representative space of the monarchy, and only over time underwent an opening to society. This opening though seems to remain theoretical: the question arises as to how “public” this garden in the center of the city of Munich actually is, or rather can be, and which forms of use serve whom. Who constitutes the public within such a predefined space?
The anniversary year 2023 offers a special occasion to interrogate and retell the institution’s multi-layered stories by complicating them through questioning the consensus of their histography. The performances dare to invent an archive of past narratives that have not yet been told. The figures proposed by the performers in their pieces come to existence in the moment of their enactment. Isn’t an archive always fictional?
The Hofgarten offers a suitable site for the negotiation of its own history, as its long existence enables the park to bear witness to numerous events. The substance of the park provides a permanent stage for the presentation of spatial memory. The Renaissance Garden provokes specific movements through its architectural structure: while tracing the space, each body tells a story of a previous body that has moved through this very space at an earlier moment in time. Every action is involuntarily staged, every movement takes on a theatrical character—everything becomes a performance in the setting of the Hofgarten. The artists aim to test and overextend precisely this stage.
The three iterations of Park will take place on the following days
Shade Théret and Magdalena Mitterhofer: May 20, 4pm
Luisa Fernanda Alfonso: June 30, 9pm
Jan Kunkel: September 9, tba