Left: Alghiero Boetti, Order and Disorder, 1985-86, © VG-Bildkunst 2018, Right: Ron Mueck, Ghost, 1998, © Ron Mueck, Installation view, photo: Axel Schneider. Image description: In an exhibition room, which is centrally separated by a white wall, on the two walls in the front part of the room there are many small square pictures with colorful capital letters written on them. In the back of the room a woman in a black bathing suit, standing on a slightly raised platform, leans against the white wall behind her while turning her head toward an orange washbasin-like structure on the adjacent wall.
Left: Alghiero Boetti, Order and Disorder, 1985-86, © VG-Bildkunst 2018, Right: Ron Mueck, Ghost, 1998, © Ron Mueck, Installation view, photo: Axel Schneider. Image description: In an exhibition room, which is centrally separated by a white wall, on the two walls in the front part of the room there are many small square pictures with colorful capital letters written on them. In the back of the room a woman in a black bathing suit, standing on a slightly raised platform, leans against the white wall behind her while turning her head toward an orange washbasin-like structure on the adjacent wall.

An Imagined Museum

Three of Europe’s most prestigious museums of modern and contemporary art – the Centre Pompidou, the Tate and the MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst – are bringing major works from their collections together to create a temporary European museum.

The conceptual point of departure for this unique international museum collaboration is a vision of the future: The year is 2052. The museums are threatened with extinction, and art is disappearing from society. In this science-fiction scenario, more than eighty masterpieces from three European collections are united in a temporary transnational museum. It features works dating from the 1920s to the present by such prominent artists as Louise Bourgeois, Marcel Duchamp, Isa Genzken, On Kawara, Claes Oldenburg, Sigmar Polke, Bridget Riley, Andy Warhol and many more.

The exhibition was inspired by Ray Bradbury’s science-fiction novel Fahrenheit 451 (1953) and its legendary film adaptation by François Truffaut (1966). Bradbury visualizes a future in which literary works have been banned from society. The only means of preserving them for later generations is to commit them to memory. In the similarly bleak future of “An Imagined Museum”, the art on view from three European collections faces imminent destruction. Just as Bradbury’s “book people” memorize literary works to save them from oblivion, the exhibition invites its visitors to memorize the artworks on display. The viewers thus play an active role in the presentation.

The show is divided into nine thematic sections. Based on the idea of the time capsule containing art-historically important works – like Marcel Duchamp’s suitcase museum La Boîte-en-valise – they shed light on specific qualities and processes inherent to art, for example the transformation of the everyday, the play with perception, travel through space and time and the codification of messages. Works such as Andy Warhol’s 100 Campbell’s Soup Cans (1962) or Claes Oldenburg’s Soft Typewriter, Ghost Version (1963) from the MMK collection, for example, possess the ability to transcend everyday objects. Dan Graham’s video installation Present Continuous Past(s) (1974) from the holdings of the Centre Pompidou takes viewers on a journey through time, and Absalon’s Cell No. 1 (1992), a futuristic living unit from the collection of the Tate, poses questions on the relationship between individual self-determination and the laws of society. An homage to the enigmatic and incomprehensible aspects of art rounds out the exhibition with works by Hans Haacke, Walid Raad, Jeff Wall and many others.

After it is over, the exhibition opens once again for a major closing weekend. The artworks have been removed for the most part and replaced by people who present their personal memories and interpretations of the exhibition objects and thus call them back to consciousness. The visitors have now become ambassadors, and a living museum is created.

Artists featured: Absalon, Josef Albers, Paul Almasy, Pawel Althamer, Thomas Bayrle, Alighiero Boetti, Louise Bourgeois, Marcel Broodthaers, Mark Brusse, Reg Butler, Marc Couturier, Carlos Cruz-Diez, Attila Csörgö, Walter de Maria, Erik Dietman, Marcel Duchamp, Jimmie Durham, Robert Filliou, Fischli/Weiss, Dan Flavin, Lucio Fontana, Dora Garcia, Dan Graham, Isa Genzken, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Victor Grippo, Hans Haacke, Jeppe Hein, Birgit Jürgenssen, On Kawara, Martin Kippenberger, Joseph Kosuth, Edward Krasinski, Barbara Kruger, Lee Lozano, Piero Manzoni, Allan McCollum, Mario Merz, Giorgio Morandi, Ron Mueck, Claes Oldenburg, Roman Opalka, Martin Parr, Philippe Parreno, Sigmar Polke, Walid Raad, Albert Georg Riethausen, Bridget Riley, Cindy Sherman, Andreas Slominski, Daniel Spoerri, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Alina Szapocznikow, Jeff Wall, Andy Warhol, Lawrence Weiner, Rachel Whiteread, Hannah Wilke, Akram Zaatari

The exhibition “An Imagined Museum: Works from the Centre Pompidou, the Tate and the MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst” is carried out jointly by the Tate Liverpool (20 Nov. 2015 – 14 Feb. 2016), the MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst Frankfurt am Main (24 Mar. – 4 Sep. 2016) and the Centre Pompidou-Metz (21 Oct. 2016 – 27 Mar. 2017).

Made possible by
Supported by
In cooperation with

Exhibition

24 März — 4 September 2016

TOWERMMK

TaunusTurm, Taunustor 1
60310 Frankfurt am Main


  • Monday Closed
  • Tuesday 11:00 - 18:00
  • Wednesday 11:00 - 19:00
  • Thursday 11:00 - 18:00
  • Friday 11:00 - 18:00
  • Saturday 11:00 - 18:00
  • Sunday 11:00 - 18:00

mmk@stadt-frankfurt.de
+49 69 212 30447

Artists

  • Absalon
  • Josef Albers
  • Paul Almásy
  • Althamer
  • Thomas Bayrle
  • Alighiero Boetti
  • Louise Bourgeois
  • Marcel Broodthaers
  • Mark Brusse
  • Reg Butler
  • Marc Couturier
  • Carlos Cruz-Diez
  • Attila Csörgö
  • Walter De Maria
  • Erik Dietman
  • Marcel Duchamp
  • Jimmie Durham
  • Robert Filliou
  • Fischli/Weiss
  • Dan Flavin
  • Lucio Fontana
  • Dora García
  • Dan Graham
  • Isa Genzken
  • Felix Gonzalez-Torres
  • Victor Grippo
  • Hans Haacke
  • Jeppe Hein
  • Birgit Jürgenssen
  • On Kawara
  • Martin Kippenberger
  • Joseph Kosuth
  • Edward Krasinski
  • Barbara Kruger
  • Lee Lozano
  • Piero Manzoni
  • Allan McCollum
  • Mario Merz
  • Giorgio Morandi
  • Ron Mueck
  • Claes Oldenburg
  • Roman Opalka
  • Martin Parr
  • Philippe Parreno
  • Sigmar Polke
  • Walid Raad
  • Albert Georg Riethausen
  • Bridget Riley
  • Cindy Sherman
  • Andreas Slominski
  • Daniel Spoerri
  • Hiroshi Sugimoto
  • Alina Szapocznikow
  • Jeff Wall
  • Andy Warhol
  • Lawrence Weiner
  • Rachel Whiteread
  • Hannah Wilke
  • Akram Zaatari

Exhibition Views

Installation view TOWER MMK © MUSEUM MMK FÜR MODERNE KUNST, photo: Axel Schneider
Installation view TOWER MMK © MUSEUM MMK FÜR MODERNE KUNST, photo: Axel Schneider
Allan McCollum, Plaster Surrogates, 1985, Centre Pompidou © Georges Meguerditchian – Centre Pompidou, MNAM-CCI /Dist. RMN-GP © Allan McCollum, photo: Axel Schneider
Rachel Whiteread, Untitled (Black Bath), 1996, Tate © Rachel Whiteread, photo: Axel Schneider
Robert Filliou, The Frozen Exhibition, 1972, Centre Pompidou © Georges Meguerditchian – Centre Pompidou, MNAM-CCI /Dist. RMN-GP © Marianne Filliou, photo: Axel Schneider
Clock (One and Five), English/Latin Version (Exhibition Version), 1965, 1997, Tate © ARS, NY and DACS, London 2020, photo: Axel Schneider
Installation view, Akram Zaatari © Akram Zaatari, photo: Axel Schneider
Marcel Duchamp, Boîte, Paris 1963 © Succession Marcel Duchamp / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2020, photo: Axel Schneider
Mark Brusse, Double Relief in 18 Colours, New York, 1966–67, Centre Pompidou © Adagp, Paris, photo: Axel Schneider
Sigmar Polke, Potato Machine – Apparatus Whereby One Potato Can Orbit Another, 1969 © The estate of Sigmar Polke / DACS 2020, photo: Axel Schneider
Alighiero Boetti, Order and Disorder, 1985-1986, MUSEUM MMK FÜR MODERNE KUNST © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2020; Ron Mueck, Ghost, 1998, Tate © Ron Mueck, photo: Axel Schneider
Alighiero Boetti, Order and Disorder, 1985-1986, MUSEUM MMK FÜR MODERNE KUNST © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2020, photo: Axel Schneider
View More