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Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart – Berlin celebrates 25th anniversary with two exhibitions

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On the occasion of its 25th anniversary, Hamburger Bahnhof will be showing two major exhibition projects starting Sunday, November 28, 2021: The two shows “Church for Sale. Works from the Haubrok Collection and the National Gallery Collection” and “Nation, Narration, Narcosis: Collecting Entanglements and Embodied Histories” address the Museum für Gegenwart’s collecting mission. The former terminus of the Hamburg-Berlin rail line opened in 1996 as another National Gallery home for post-1960 art. The anniversary also marks the continuation of monthly admission-free Thursday afternoons as part of Volkswagen Art4All, beginning Thursday, December 2, 2021.

Image above: Hamburger Bahnhof, about 2015, Photo Maximilian Meisse

Gabriele Knapstein, Director of Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart – Berlin says on the occasion of the anniversary: “Part of the mission of the Museum für Gegenwart in Hamburger Bahnhof is to constantly complement and explore the collection of the Nationalgalerie in the field of contemporary art. To this end, we are also building long-term alliances with other museums and public and private collections. In cooperation with international colleagues, it is important to jointly develop pluralistic perspectives in the exploration of the respective collections. In order to be able to continue to fulfill its collection mandate in the future, in addition to attractive special exhibitions, the Hamburger Bahnhof currently needs above all a secure structural perspective and a renovation plan.”

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Edgar Arceneaux, Church for Sale, 2013, 28 x 35,6 cm, Sammlung Haubrok © Edgar Arceneaux

Church for Sale. Works from the Haubrok Collection and the Sammlung der Nationalgalerie

28th November 2021 – 19th June 2022

On the occasion of its 25th anniversary, Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart – Berlin is showing important works from the Haubrok Collection and from the collection of the National Gallery in the museum’s Historic Hall. The artists represented in the exhibition understand art as a political activity directed against omnipresent violence and aggression, against exclusion and the lack of protection of common goods relevant to life. In their works, they address the vulnerability of human existence in its social and cultural environment and examine power structures in private and public space. The show includes sculptures, photographs, prints, wall and video works by Edgar Arceneaux, Siah Armajani, Christoph Büchel, Tom Burr, Claire Fontaine, Jenny Holzer, Alfredo Jaar, Emily Jacir, Carolyn Lazard, Park McArthur, Rodney McMillian, Bruce Nauman, Cady Noland, Ruben Ochoa, Santiago Sierra and Kara Walker. The exhibition continues the collaboration that has existed since 2009 with the Haubrok Foundation.

Curated by Gabriele Knapstein; Assistant Curator: Franziska Lietzmann

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Siah Armajani, Glass Front Porch for Walter Benjamin, 2001, Glas, Plexiglas, Edelstahl, eloxiertes Aluminium, 326 x 388 x 543 cm, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Nationalgalerie, 2014 Schenkung des Künstlers an die Freunde der Nationalgalerie © Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Nationalgalerie / Thomas Bruns © The Estate of Siah Armajani and Rossi & Rossi

Nation, Narration, Narcosis
Collecting Entanglements and Embodied Histories

28th November 2021 – 3rd July 2022

„Nation, Narration, Narcosis: Collecting Entanglements and Embodied Histories“ im Hamburger Bahnhof widmet sich dem Verhältnis von Kunst zu politischen Protesten, historischen Traumata und gesellschaftlichen Narrativen vom 19. Jahrhundert bis in die Gegenwart. Die gezeigten Werke setzen sich mit den Auswirkungen von Nationenbildung, Kolonialismus oder dem Anthropozän auf Gemeinschaften, ihre Erzählungen und die Ökologie unseres Planeten auseinander. Ausgehend von Joseph Beuys’ Konzept der sozialen Plastik konfrontiert die Ausstellung den im Namen „Nationalgalerie“ enthaltenen Begriff der Nation mit alternativen Konzepten von Verbundenheit, Solidarität und Individualität. „Nation, Narration, Narcosis“ bringt Kunstwerke und Dokumente aus den Sammlungen der Staatlichen Museen zu Berlin mit Leihgaben unter anderem aus Chiang Mai (Thailand), Jakarta (Indonesien) und Singapur in Dialog. Zu sehen sind Werke von über 50 Künstler:innen wie Amanda Heng, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Arahmaiani, Ho Tzu Nyen, Käthe Kollwitz, Kawita Vatanajyankur, Marina Abramović, Melati Suryodarmo, Tita Salina, Willem de Rooij und anderen.

Curated by Anna-Catharina Gebbers with Grace Samboh, Gridthiya Gaweewong and June Yap; Assistant Curator: Charlotte Knaup; GoetheInstitut Fellow: Rosalia Namsai Engchuan

“Collecting Entanglements and Embodied Histories” is a research dialogue initiated and funded by the Goethe-Institut since 2017 between the participating curators and their selected collections at the Galeri Nasional Indonesia, the MAIIAM Contemporary Art Museum, the Nationalgalerie – Staatliche Museen zu Berlin and the Singapore Art Museum. In the spirit of “Shared Collections,” Hamburger Bahnhof intends to continue the exchange between the participating curators and institutions in the future.

Volkswagen Art4All

The anniversary will also see the continuation of monthly admission-free Thursdays (1st Thursday of the month from 4 to 8 p.m.) as part of Volkswagen Art4All from Thursday, December 2, 2021. From December 16, the format will be introduced for the first time at the Neue Nationalgalerie and in the future will be able to take place on every 3rd Thursday of the month (4 to 8 p.m.).

Hamburger Bahnhof turns 25

On November 1, 1996, the Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart – Berlin was opened as another house of the National Gallery for art after 1960. In 2004, the museum was able to almost double its exhibition space with the so-called Rieckhallen, in order to present special exhibitions as well as the extensive holdings of the National Gallery and private collections such as the Marx Collection, the Marzona Collection, the Haubrok Foundation and the Friedrich Christian Flick Collection. As the terminus of the railroad line between Hamburg and Berlin, the building was put into operation in December 1846 and is today the only historic station building of that time in the city. The ensemble with the historic building converted by Josef Paul Kleihues and the freight forwarding halls refurbished by Kuehn Malvezzi is considered a unique exhibition venue for contemporary art in Berlin. In view of the still uncertain future of the Rieckhallen in 2020, the collector Friedrich Christian Flick did not extend the cooperation with the Nationalgalerie, which has existed since 2004. The exhibition “Scratching the Surface,” which runs until November 28, 2021, is the last presentation that will be able to draw on loans from the Friedrich Christian Flick Collection, while Friedrich Christian Flick’s extensive donations to the Nationalgalerie will remain at the institution after the end of the loan agreement and will enrich the collection in the long term. In September 2021, the State of Berlin and CA Immo agreed in a memorandum of understanding on the acquisition of the Rieckhallen as part of a land swap of equal value.


Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart – Berlin
Invalidenstraße 50/51, 10557 Berlin


Tue – Fri 10 am – 6 pm, Sat + Sun 11 am – 6 pm

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