Christian Boltanski, "Résistance", 1993/94 © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, 2015, and Gustav Metzger, "Travertin/Judenpech", 1999 (background), new installation Haus der Kunst, 2015, Photo Maximilian Geuter

Interventions into Architecture: Archive Gallery 2015/16

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Exhibition overview

The second presentation in Haus der Kunst's Archive Gallery focuses on interventions in the building's architecture and treatments of its facade. With Résistance by Christian Boltanski (1993–94) and Gustav Metzger's Travertine/Judenpech (1999), Haus der Kunst reanimates the first two artistic interventions created specifically for the facade and portico of the National Socialist building, which opened in 1937. Both projects subtly sensitize viewers to the relationship between Nazi megalomania and the traumatic experiences of the people who became victims and opponents of the Nazi regime because of their origin or beliefs. The works made an important contribution to defining the position of the historically-burdened building within the topography of memory in urban public space. Twenty years later, their reinstallation provokes new examinations of and reflections on the structure, not least among the younger generation. 

The gallery is accessible from Haus der Kunst's Middle Hall; admission is free. The interventions of Christian Boltanski and Gustav Metzger on the building's south facade can also be visited outside of regular opening hours. In creating the Archive Gallery in 2014, Haus der Kunst has established a new research and exhibition center – situated in a central exhibition space designed by the artist and cultural theorist Martin Schmidl. The Archive Gallery represents the visible memory of the often turbulent history and complex historical process that produced Haus der Kunst in its present form. The basis for its exhibitions are the holdings of the institution's Historical Archives, which were documented in their entirety for the first time in 2004 by the historian Sabine Brantl. This new format intends to successively introduce an open and dynamic form to the generally static connotations associated with the term "archive".

Planned for the Archive Gallery are additional rotating presentations that explore various topics and are created in cooperation with international institutions, artists and scholars; the interactive range will be continually expanded to this end.