Martin Honert, Foto, 1993 © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2018, photo: Axel Schneider
Martin Honert, Foto, 1993 © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2018, photo: Axel Schneider

The ebay-Connection

Spinning the web

What exactly is "Schweinfurt Green", and what does it have to do with Napoleon's hair and 25 grams of 'Vienna Black' pigment by Andreas Slominski? Or the two small red Sony batteries - what is the relation between them and the two dozen black-&-white amateur photographs of twins or the "Vase Ecstasies" by artist couple Anna and Bernhard Blume? - These is the kind of question that arise when the world's online market-place eBay encounters a museum of modern art: The exhibition Spinning the Web - the eBay Connection presents objects that where bought by auction on eBay over a period of several months and juxtaposes them to artworks in the MMK's collection.

eBay is not only a place where goods change hands, but also an Internet portal, a communications system, a search engine and a global network. Once you're logged in, you can move by entering key words from one article to the next, just as if you were looking things up in an encyclopedia. This was the path taken for selecting the objects for the exhibition, too: Depending on the variation and combination of key words, items relating to individual artworks were found as were artworks to fit the respective objects on offer in eBay. Some are clearly connected to each other, while for others the link is more a matter of association, but in all instances the new configurations bring added meaning to both the objects and the artworks. In other words, a track is laid that the viewers can but must not necessarily follow - and as you move down it, repeatedly new individual forms of signification can arise.

How does a museum change things that are placed within its walls? This has been one of the fundamental questions tackled by modern art ever since Marcel Duchamp submitted a urinal - placed flat on its back, signed R. Mutt and entitled 'Fountain' - for a non-juried exhibition in New York in 1917. And it is this issue that is being rejuvenated for this joint presentation of art and non-art here; and we are foregrounding the imaginative potential concealed behind the transformative powers of the museum as an institution. In this sense, Spinning the Web - the eBay Connection is a journey to things and through the worlds of the imagination, history and present. It is an exhibition about exhibiting itself: What is already innate in the combined presentation of MMK artworks is intensified and radicalized by the expansion to include non-artworks.


24 September 2005 — 26 Januar 2006


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