Ghetto Central Europe

27 Jun 2024 - 29 Dec 2024
Museum of Modern Art
Kunstmuseum Bochum
Kunstmuseum Bochum

Between 1972 and 1996, the Museum of Art in Bochum, West Germany, became an unlikely center of Czech, Czechoslovak, and even Central European culture. This was due to the then director of the institution, Petr Spielmann (1932-2020), an art historian from a well-known Jewish Czech-German family, an emigrant by fate, and a European by nature. Spielmann first worked here as a curator and began to actively think about the concept of the institution, which is regional, in the true sense of the word community, yet has a global reach, already under the leadership of Peter Leo. A certain culmination of his efforts was the construction of the new building, which opened in 1983 – designed by the famous Danish Louisiana architects Vilhelm Wohlert and Jørgen Bo. The flowing space, which is not divided into exterior and interior, naturally incorporates a library with a reading room (its design, incidentally, was by another Central European, Terry Haass), a Forum lectorium, and a café area, a space that is inherently understood as creative, is now a legend in its own right – and the collection Spielmann created here is now receiving its own critical appreciation.

As in the previous case, the initial phase of a key research and education project that the Olomouc Museum of Art will be undertaking in the coming years, in preparation for the opening of SEFO’s new exhibition building, designed by Jan Šépka is now part of the SEFO Triennial. Spielmann’s conception of Central Europe as an integral part of the European cultural tradition, his understanding of the artwork as the final “monument”, and his desire to understand the museum institution as an open platform, as a public space, is an essential impulse for SEFO to rethink its own position and social role. The Kunstmuseum Bochum therefore becomes a key partner of the institution, which will be reflected, among other things, in the work with the permanent exhibitions of both museums. Within the SEFO 2024 Triennial, the Olomouc Century of Relativity will undergo a substantial transformation, and its reinstallation will be accompanied by an archival exhibition accompanied by a pair of original projections and set in the context of Spielmann’s way of thinking. Institution as a monument, personality as a monument, work of art as a monument – Is it time to rethink any (or all) of them? Can they inspire us in any way? Can we do without them at all?

AUTHOR: Barbora Kundračíková
COLLABORATORS: Özlem Arslan, Štěpánka Bieleszová, Ladislav Daněk, Noor Mertens
ASRCHITECTONIC SOLUTION: Michal Soukup, Vlastimil Sedláček
INSTALLATION: Filip Šindelář, Daniel Opletal
RESTAURANT / CONSERVATION: Anna Píšt’ková, Toby Pospíšilů
GRAPHIC DESIGN: Publicum Design, Petr Šmalec
EDUCATION: David Hrbek, Denisa Tessenyi
PR: Lukáš Horák, Tomáš Kasal

Trienále SEFO 2024