Special Exhibitions

September 13, 2019 – January 6, 2020
FORUM 050: Der Greif – public/private
“Der Greif” is a multi-award-winning organization for contemporary photography. Since it was founded in 2008, the collective has tackled topical issues surrounding the production, distribution and reception of photography. Its projects all blend physical and virtual spaces. In the 12th edition of its magazine, guest-curated by the British and South-African artistic duo, Broomberg & Chanarin, “Der Greif” has featured a specially curated selection of photographs in an interactive installation. Adam Broomberg & Oliver Chanarin have launched a public appeal for photographic images for their installation, images too private, too muted, too violent, too political, too subversive or too explicit to be shared online. Images never to be shown on Facebook, Instagram or other social media. In this display, visitors are invited to approach the images, touch them and engage with them, breaking with classic photographic display formats. This approach also allows us to question our own reception of pictures and imagery on our smartphone screens.

November 15, 2019 – June 21, 2020
Ready to go! Shoe-motion
The first part of the exhibition explores the cultural and social history of footwear as a practical means of helping people get from A to B. Exhibits range from a tattered medieval children’s shoe to the footwear of a modern-day refugee. The second section traces the history of shoes as status symbols, symbols of power or signifiers of membership of a particular group. The importance of footwear is clearly illustrated, from a gender perspective, by a drag queen’s high heels. The third section focuses on shoes as a fetish that sets collectors’ pulses racing. Pumps – the archetypal women’s shoe – have long been worn for their seductive qualities. Yet these very shoes, and indeed lace-up boots, can whip up a frenzy of sexual desire in some or serve as a painful instrument of torture for others. Not a few women have endured painful deformities such as lotus foot and bunions in the name of sexual attractiveness. Finally, exclusive shoes designed as objects by international artists add a more abstract note to this multifaceted collection. Audio stations and participatory opportunities to touch some of the shoes and try them on are the hallmarks of this exhibition, which offers its visitors a novel sensory experience.

January 24 – March 22, 2020
FORUM 051: Jonathan Danko Kielkowski – unbounded
US photo artist and documentary photographer Richard Misrach once said that “Beauty entices people to stop and look”. Photographer Jonathan Danko Kielkowski (b. 1988) transforms his documentary images into works of art. His chosen subjects are places forgotten and abandoned by human history. His images document traces of humankind’s encroachment on and exploitation of the natural world and yet are free of any recriminatory tone sometimes found in journalistic photography. Take, for example, his photographs of the Costa Concordia cruise ship, which grounded off the Tuscan coast in 2012.The Nuremberg photographer managed to swim aboard and photograph the wreck shortly before it was scrapped. Kielkowski’s most recent work and book are devoted to Pyramiden, an abandoned Soviet coal mining town on the island of Spitsbergen. This area’s bizarre and moribund landscapes stand as testament to failed technological visions of the future.